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Thread: temporary garden thread

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    temporary garden thread

    Maister's garden: the year in review

    An interesting year with the usual mix of sucesses and disappointments, though, this year saw more disappointments than most.

    Successes:
    pumpkin - first attempted was a success!
    beans - beans, beans and more beans! A bumper crop of bush beans (wax and green). Pole beans got off to a late start but provided a most prodigious harvest by August!
    onions - grew to a nice small/medium size ideal for cooking!
    dill - enough to see us through to next spring!
    zinnias - I honestly thought I'd be counting these among the failures because bugs gnawed away 90% of the foliage in late-spring, but they ended up bouncing back and have been flowering beautifully the last month


    Satisfactory:
    tomatoes - didn't plant enough of 'em but the ones I did turned out a tasty albeit modest harvest
    spinach - again, didn't plant enough and lost a few that sprouted but overall the ones that made it were tasty
    cabbage - planted five in April and four of 'em died within a week. Bought replacment transplants and they are heading now (but kinda small still). The one original cabbage that survived ended up producing a bowling ball sized head which we used for our Oktoberfest party
    lettuce - four plants produced sufficient quantities for about a half dozen salads - coulda got more but didn't harvest enough and it went to seed after a while.

    disappointments:
    cucumbers - planted mid-June and are ending the season with a single 12 inch long vine
    green peppers - planted right on time and got NO fruit the entire season!!!!! >
    New Zeeland spinach - as usual croaked shortly after sprouting
    spaghetti squash - produced a baseball sized gourd and the plant withered ???
    corn - bugs destroyed about 80% of the crop. The few ears we managed to salvage were tasty, though.
    peas lost 90% of the crop to moles within 30 days of planting > > >

    Big discovery this season was how much tastier pole beans are than bush beans. Unless you've grown them in your own garden or specifically bought pole beans at the farmers market you've probably only eaten bush beans your entire life - I know I have. Bush beans were originally developed/hybridized so that farm machinery could harvest all the knee high plants in one harvest and what you buy at the grocery store are bush beans, but I'm convinced something was lost flavor-wise when they developed bush variety beans. Pole beans are great for home gardens because they provide a continual small harvest from about mid-summer up until first frost. Just six or seven plants will provides sufficient harvest for a small family to have beans for dinner a couple times a week during this time period.

    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Re: temporary garden thread

    Humm our sugar snap peas just did not do squat this year no matter how much we tried they would grow up about 3 feet and then just die after making 3 or 4 little bean pods. :-[

    Maters did great, we have more little maters than we could eat in a year-its great fun to watch the beagle try to eat green ones hehe

    Sunflowers went crazy this year 4 kinds with many many blooms and much birding could be done because of them.

    Next year birdhouse gourds are the new item for us
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  3. #3
    maudit anglais
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    Re: temporary garden thread

    Our veggie garden was not a success this year, mainly through lack of maintenance...next year I am taking over responsibilities from Mrs. Tranplanner.

  4. #4
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Re: temporary garden thread

    Quote Originally posted by tranSplanner
    Our veggie garden was not a success this year, mainly through lack of maintenance...next year I am taking over responsibilities from Mrs. Tranplanner.
    I've had big life events get in the way of gardening and have left the garden essentially untended for significant portions of the summer. Even in these situations, though, tomatoes for some reason always seem to make it. Did ANYTHING survive in your garden?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  5. #5

    Re: temporary garden thread

    Mrs. G didn't put in a garden this year. Our blueberry bushes both died this year for some reason. The durned-blasted groundhogwoodchucks discovered that the leaves of my morning glories are tasty and thus I got virtually no m-gs this year. My daughter's apple tree produced about a dozen wonderful apples and even my son's tree (which we thought was male and thus non-flowering) even produced one delicious apple.

    Since we will be replacing our garage next year, we probably won't plant anything becuase the yard will be torn up and we likely will be moving walks, decks and other yard amenities.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Re: temporary garden thread

    Good: Peppers, Cantelope, brocoli, bush beans - peppers are still producing
    OK: spinach, tomatoes - two hot weeks in august did the tomatoes in
    Bad: cauliflour, cabbage - groundhogs

  7. #7
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Re: temporary garden thread

    I'm curious - did anyone can, dry, or freeze surplus quantities of home grown veggies this year (or most years in general)?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  8. #8
    maudit anglais
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    Re: temporary garden thread

    Quote Originally posted by maister
    I've had big life events get in the way of gardening and have left the garden essentially untended for significant portions of the summer. Even in these situations, though, tomatoes for some reason always seem to make it. Did ANYTHING survive in your garden?
    Oh yeah, we had a bumper crop of tomatoes - the one thing that did really well, even though half of them ended up rotting on the vine or ground. Blue potatoes also did well. Rhubarb and Asparagus too (Asparagus will be ready to harvest next year). Basically, anything you didn't need to weed/water/maintain did fine.

    Oh, and most of the back lawn is now Oregano. Smells real nice when you mow it.

    Didn't can anything home-grown, but we picked a ton of raspberries and made jam. No chutney this year though...Christmas Tourtiere just won't be the same

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jmac's avatar
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    Re: temporary garden thread

    Quote Originally posted by maister
    I'm curious - did anyone can, dry, or freeze surplus quantities of home grown veggies this year (or most years in general)?
    I tried canning for the first time this year with my mom's old pressure canner. Have about a dozen quarts of tomatoes so far, and probably have enought to get about three more. I also dehydrated some chiles... we'll see how that works.

    I used the Square Foot Gardening method this year and was really happy with it overall. Besides the tomatoes and peppers, we got a few canteloupe, lots of lettuce, a few heads of cauliflower, a ton of zucchini, and various herbs, all in two 4'x4' beds in our tiny city backyard.

    Gardens are fun.

  10. #10
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Re: temporary garden thread

    Quote Originally posted by jmac
    Quote Originally posted by maister
    I'm curious - did anyone can, dry, or freeze surplus quantities of home grown veggies this year (or most years in general)?
    I tried canning for the first time this year with my mom's old pressure canner. Have about a dozen quarts of tomatoes so far, and probably have enought to get about three more. I also dehydrated some chiles... we'll see how that works.

    I used the Square Foot Gardening method this year and was really happy with it overall. Besides the tomatoes and peppers, we got a few canteloupe, lots of lettuce, a few heads of cauliflower, a ton of zucchini, and various herbs, all in two 4'x4' beds in our tiny city backyard.

    Gardens are fun.
    I assume you already know I'm into square-foot gardening in a big way. It never ceases to amaze me how much you can grow in so small an area. ElGuapo PM'ed me a great recipe for hot sauce using garden dried peppers. When Cyburbia gets back online I'll see if I saved it and forward you the recipe.

    We often freeze our tomato crop, but usually deplete the frozen tomato supply by early January. I acquired a ton of mason jars this year from family and plan to can our tomatoes next year. I'm considering starting another 4' square just for canning purposes.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Re: temporary garden thread

    We can tomatoes and salsa all the time. You don't need a pressure cooker to can tomatoes. It's very simple. We put up 48 half pints of salsa this year, and pickled 12 half pints of peppers. We use half pints because we can usually finish a jar in one sitting. When we use pints, it seems that we are always throwing half the jar away because we can never remember when we opened it.

    The peppers are still producing so we are looking into canning some relish or maybe just pickle the rest.

    We also froze some beans for the first time this year. You are supposed to blanch them before you freeze them which we didn't do so we will see how they turn out.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    Re: temporary garden thread

    We had very mixed results this year. The tomatoes, as always were a huge success. The Heirlooms are massive, juicy, and incredibly tasty. Even the three year old twins will eat them right off the vine.

    Snap peas did not fare so well either. They reached about 4 feet in height, but no peas. very wierd.

    Pumpkins. a strange thing happened with our pumpkins. We had about 10 decent sized pumpkins on three separete vines. They were doing very well, starting to orange up, and then the vines died in a matter of days. We harvested the pumpkins and most of them were a very light shade of orange. hopefully they will last to Halloween because the kids love the pumpkins. We may have to pull a switchero and go buy some.

    My herbs did great this year. Until our water main broke and we had to harvest all of them because the trecnh ran right through the herb garden. We were able to successfully transplant the perenial herbs.

    My peppers were ok, but on the small side. they tasted fine.

    We use a vertical garden and train most of our veggies up a block wall in our back yard. It hides the wall and it reminds me of shopping at the grocery store, I walk along the wall and find the best looking choices. next year, due to some major relandscaping in our backyard, we will incorporate more of a true square yard type of gardening.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Re: temporary garden thread


    I assume you already know I'm into square-foot gardening in a big way. [/quote]
    I used the square foot method this year as well, very efficient. I could never get my cantelope to climb the pole. Luckily they took off about the time the brocolli and cali were done so they took over their area.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian jmac's avatar
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    Re: temporary garden thread

    Quote Originally posted by maister
    I assume you already know I'm into square-foot gardening in a big way. It never ceases to amaze me how much you can grow in so small an area. ElGuapo PM'ed me a great recipe for hot sauce using garden dried peppers. When Cyburbia gets back online I'll see if I saved it and forward you the recipe.

    We often freeze our tomato crop, but usually deplete the frozen tomato supply by early January. I acquired a ton of mason jars this year from family and plan to can our tomatoes next year. I'm considering starting another 4' square just for canning purposes.
    Knew you were a gardener, but didn't know you were of the square foot persuasion. I really was amazed at how much it produced, even though I slacked off a little bit on the maintenance towards the end of the summer. I'll probably be building one or two more beds next year (grass is pointless anyway), so I might have to get some planting suggestions from you!

    Definitely send me the recipe for the hot sauce if you still have it... I'm running out of uses for the habaneros.

    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon
    You don't need a pressure cooker to can tomatoes.
    I honestly just like watching the steam jet shoot out of the pressure valve. ;D

    Quote Originally posted by savemattoon
    I used the square foot method this year as well, very efficient. I could never get my cantelope to climb the pole.
    I built a trellis out of EMT conduit and nylon cord mesh, pretty much like the book describes. The canteloupe stayed climbed it, but I did have to weave the vine into every few days... it wouldn't climb on its own. The canteloupes were smaller than the ones I've grown on the ground, but I did have a few at the top of the 6' trellis! Very cool.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
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    Re: temporary garden thread

    I have a garden that I helped build and share the produce. It's a good size but next year I think I'm going to look into using some 'square-foot' ideas.

    There was a mixed bag as far as what worked and what didn't. When I planted, some items were planted too close and resulted in extra care for thining out stuff.

    Cucumbers - very good
    Tomatoes - Beefsteak and Yellow Pear - Too many
    Onions - lots of small green, now more larger onions
    Dill - Almost died, then flourished
    Lettuce - (Romaine + Iceberg) ok, didn't get as large as I wanted
    Zuccinni - Large crop but not enough space for them
    Green Peppers - 2 good sized peppers from 3 plants (watered too much)
    Asparagus - Didn't even sprout (we planted new)
    Radishes - ok yield but we planted alot

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Re: temporary garden thread

    Hows the pummpkin growing work growing up a wall? We do most of our stuff on our raised deck as well and not sure what to do with pumpkins. I LOVE to grow some but not sure how to make it work in a little townhome space
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  17. #17
    Cyburbian jmac's avatar
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    Re: temporary garden thread

    Canned another 5 quarts of tomatoes last night. I think that will be the last batch, even though there are a bunch of green tomatoes still on the vine.

    Fall is definitely here... bought a bushel of apples last weekend. This weekend - applesauce!

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