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Old 01-25-2020, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
206,741 posts, read 79,975,057 times
Reputation: 133632

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I have found a new red onion that I want to try. It is an intermediate day variety that is supposed to be the sweetest of the sweets. It is called a Red Candy Apple. I'm going to try a bunch or maybe two bunches of each of the intermediate day varieties offered by this company. I'm thinking about a 4' wide raised bed 8" high with a weed barrier so there will be no weeding. Last years fiasco with sweet potatoes will not be repeated. After some mechanical dreaming I think at least I can prevent the deer from using them for their personal salad bar. I'll put them back on black plastic mulch on a ridge and then uses some field fence that will cover them a foot or so above the tops of the vines secured with steel posts. One new tomato I will try this year will be the new one from Burpee called Bodacious. For paste and sauce we will grow some Burpee Super Sauce as well as Amish Paste. Rutgers grow well here and did amazingly well last year so they will be the main crop for the canning operation again this year. For the first time I've found seed for dark red kidney beans so those are under consideration. Some field fence is going up for a cucumber trellis for both slicers and pickling. I'm thinking an 8' raised bed 4' wide again with plastic weed barrier for summer squash along with a few hills of acorn squash. These yellow patty pans will be a must raise along with a couple of hills of the standard white ones. These cupcake squash are another must raise. I raised some of the cupcakes the first year they were available and they were extremely productive in containers along with some gold nuggets. There is a new to me Peter Pan scalloped type of summer squash that just looks like it will be a good addition to bacon tomato pies. The only real thing missing is a crew. Way back when we had a minimum of an acre of fresh vegetables in the backyard labor was not a problem as they gathered at the dining table. Once we put seed and plants into the ground all distant traveling will cease until frost. One more new item this year to test will be this turnip for a fall crop. I'm getting very antsy.
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Old 01-25-2020, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
74,043 posts, read 57,425,808 times
Reputation: 13134
Just playing around with Excel this morning.. March is a busy month. Mid April I put in the Potatoes and Onions. That means I need to till the soil in March or early April. Weather permitting of course. Early May I start hardening off.


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Old 01-25-2020, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
206,741 posts, read 79,975,057 times
Reputation: 133632
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
Just playing around with Excel this morning.. March is a busy month. Mid April I put in the Potatoes and Onions. That means I need to till the soil in March or early April. Weather permitting of course. Early May I start hardening off.


Excel is definitely for more than bean counters. I've used it for years to draw out the rows across the garden plots and to calculate the number of plants and amounts of seeds needed. It also is helpful in calculating potential yields and then storage requirements. I think it could be nicknamed OCD?
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:13 PM
 
3,439 posts, read 2,351,197 times
Reputation: 7053
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomadicus View Post
I have found a new red onion that I want to try. It is an intermediate day variety that is supposed to be the sweetest of the sweets. It is called a Red Candy Apple. I'm going to try a bunch or maybe two bunches of each of the intermediate day varieties offered by this company. I'm thinking about a 4' wide raised bed 8" high with a weed barrier so there will be no weeding. Last years fiasco with sweet potatoes will not be repeated. After some mechanical dreaming I think at least I can prevent the deer from using them for their personal salad bar. I'll put them back on black plastic mulch on a ridge and then uses some field fence that will cover them a foot or so above the tops of the vines secured with steel posts. One new tomato I will try this year will be the new one from Burpee called Bodacious. For paste and sauce we will grow some Burpee Super Sauce as well as Amish Paste. Rutgers grow well here and did amazingly well last year so they will be the main crop for the canning operation again this year. For the first time I've found seed for dark red kidney beans so those are under consideration. Some field fence is going up for a cucumber trellis for both slicers and pickling. I'm thinking an 8' raised bed 4' wide again with plastic weed barrier for summer squash along with a few hills of acorn squash. These yellow patty pans will be a must raise along with a couple of hills of the standard white ones. These cupcake squash are another must raise. I raised some of the cupcakes the first year they were available and they were extremely productive in containers along with some gold nuggets. There is a new to me Peter Pan scalloped type of summer squash that just looks like it will be a good addition to bacon tomato pies. The only real thing missing is a crew. Way back when we had a minimum of an acre of fresh vegetables in the backyard labor was not a problem as they gathered at the dining table. Once we put seed and plants into the ground all distant traveling will cease until frost. One more new item this year to test will be this turnip for a fall crop. I'm getting very antsy.
Why don't I just buy all my produce from you?
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
206,741 posts, read 79,975,057 times
Reputation: 133632
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonchalance View Post
Why don't I just buy all my produce from you?
Never ever put all your beans in one pot... Here on this mountain top some things just do not grow well. I'm going south down into GA and AL in search of Fordhook Lima beans and zipper cream peas. The only way to get good ones is to either grow them or buy them directly from some one who does. The ones in supermarkets are mechanically shelled and have to be way past their prime in order for the machine to work. I have visions in my head of the matriarchs gathered on the old wrap around porches sitting in had made wooden rocking chairs around a large wash tub where they toss the shells with white enamel dish pans full of peas or beans being shelled. Real food for real folks who can live without sushi. Where I am on any given day the climate zone can shift by 3 zones and makes gardening a guessing game all to often. I'm having to learn how to go with the flow and except what Ma Nature throws at us here.
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Old 01-26-2020, 05:55 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,168 posts, read 89,928,599 times
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OK, started going through the seed catalogs yesterday: God Burpees has gotten pricey. We did decide, last night we will start our inside container planting as our annual family project in about 3 weeks. The date is not set. I think we sill end up getting our seeds and containers from Walmart or one of our local stores. I still may order from a catalog. I have a few weeks to make up my mind. About all we start inside are tomatoes and maybe herbs. I might add jalapenos this year.
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Old 01-26-2020, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
3,050 posts, read 3,709,353 times
Reputation: 6034
"God Burpees has gotten pricey"...it's not just Burpee's. The trend is fewer seeds in a packet, for a higher price.

I've started saving non-hybrid tomato and pepper seeds from my favorite varieties, saves me a bit of money. With tomato seeds, it seems the varieties with the best virus/disease resistance happen to be hybrid, which may not reproduce the same fruit as the parent.
The best way I have found to save tomato seeds is to ferment them. Scrape the desired seeds into a small bowl, add water and set on the counter to ferment for several days. When a film of mold has appeared on the surface, strain the seeds through a strainer, rinse and dry on a paper towel. Store with a label in a zip-loc bags in a cool place 'till next season. I get good germination rates from my saved seeds.

Regards
Gemstone1
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Old 01-26-2020, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
206,741 posts, read 79,975,057 times
Reputation: 133632
I ordered my Burpee seed today while it is BOGO... That helped. I normally try a few new items that no one else has. Today I also got a discount on shipping so that helped a little also. I've found the difference in total production out weighs the higher prices for hybrids that are normally disease resistant too. The only non hybrid tomatoes I am planting are Amish paste and Rutgers. Seed stocks have greatly increased in price over the last few years with other costs of living so I just suck it up and go for savings over supermarket prices which scare me spitless. The quality of homegrown over shipped in makes the seed costs easier for me to bear. I've got a hankering to tinker with cross breeding tomatoes from even some of the hybrids that I like. I may can get some help from an extension agent locally. Another cross breeding project is that of crossing squash that grow in containers to create even more new varieties. I bought several from Burpee today that I have grown before. Those cupcake hybrid seed made me wince out loud. I did get a start with French Tarragon buying 3 living plants. We do like tarragon in chicken salad. The plan is to trim small bags off at our farmers market as needed rather than packaging ahead of time. I remember when super sweet hybrid seed were introduced in the 70's. That was so expensive due to the production requirements. I invested in several pounds and grew it for the first time in a market garden. It was a good investment being the fresh corn brought triple the price of regular sweet corn. I told people the seed cost was very high so I had to recoup expenses. Once they got a taste none ever fussed about the price again. Having to isolate it from other corns adds to the cost of raising it in terms of space required but again worth it then. Since newer varieties have been developed that do not require isolation in the fields. For home grown seed production those who haven't read about them might be entertained with the story of the development of the Mortgage Lifter tomato. It is most interesting and makes me want to dabble with the same processes. I feel better knowing the season is underway. It's time to put up the seed starting table and get out the heated mat to put the seed trays on. This year a PVC frame to suspend the LED grow lights from will make it a lot easier to produce strong non spindly plants.
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Old 01-27-2020, 09:02 AM
 
3,439 posts, read 2,351,197 times
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We did it: scrounged some peat pots and started cilantro and other fast-grow green things. Took stock. Also found some gravel, which I've used for growing peas/lentils, and started that too.

These won't need the grow light for some time but it's set up for when they do. Now I need potting soil and vermiculite and some thinking....
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:13 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
40,245 posts, read 49,757,290 times
Reputation: 68839
Have you heard the saying, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing? I’ve had two Master Gardening classes now...yesterday’s was about soil. It’s very important to have your soil tested, which is easy and inexpensive. If the ph in your soil is off (s/b 5.5-6.5), plants will not do well.

I also learned that we have zero topsoil in GA, so it’s no wonder it is so hard to grow some things.

Also, we talked about the eggshells, coffee grounds, and other things that folks add to their gardens. According to the doctor who is teaching the class, they will make you feel good about yourself, but won’t do anything for your plants. If you have a calcium deficiency or low ph (soil test), these additions will not be strong enough or fast acting enough to make any difference.
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