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02-25-2012, 01:09 PM #1
It's time ~ the garden goes from hobby to necessity
Just returned home from my Dollar General coupon day (spend $25 - save $5...do it right, spend exactly $25 & it works out to 20% off everything you buy. That's all those $1 items now costing .80 cents)...My DG lets me do as many 'deals' as I want and I calculate them right to the penny of $25.... $25 worth of goodies for $20!!!
But this story is not about DG - so anyway, as I was driving home I noticed that gas has now gone up to $3.79 gal (that's 10 MORE cents since yesterday)....this is not good folks!
The weather is breaking and I have been staring at my garden plot in the backyard for the past few weeks, saying to the DH that I will once again plant a garden for us (Dh laughs hysterically at this comment every time. Where is the moral support here)...
Every year I plant. Some come up, most don't. The ones that make it above the dirt I somehow kill (by lack of water or weed takeover - I admit it...I kill them).
This year must be different. This year I can no longer call the plot my hobby that I can abandon at will when I grow tired of it. This year a garden is going to become a necessity everyone. Prices are going thru the roof and I see no end in sight.
You may say that not everything has gone up but let me tell you. I work in a grocery store. I watch items come in everyday that are now much larger packaging but have reduced contents inside and the prices are still the same. The manufacturers are playing with us consumers and your prices are very much going up on everything!
We need to do every tiny thing we can to keep as many of our dollars in our pockets as possible. A garden is one of the greatest ideas ever invented. It's very little outlay and a boatload of sweat equity. But the rewards can be stupendous!
I have a girlfriend who has a canner & the knowledge to use it so I made a deal with her the other day that if the garden has a bounty this year she comes with her supplies and shares the knowledge and I will share the bounty and we will can, can, can till we can can no more....
Last edited by sabrelvssammy; 02-25-2012 at 01:36 PM.
- 02-25-2012, 01:22 PM #2
02-25-2012, 01:37 PM #3Sponsored Links Remove Advertisements02-25-2012, 02:25 PM #4
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Are you keeping a log for your garden? I hate journaling with a passion and since I'm the type to do everything by the seat of my pants, this is a painful approach. But we're so clueless about gardening, I have to write things down or I won't remember.
I keep track of where things were planted and how they did. Like last year, the peas and beans did great in the new raised beds we put in. The cucumbers, not so much. So this year I'll put the cucumbers elsewhere and use their space to grow more beans and peas. I also waaaaaayyyyyyyy underestimated the space the ground cherries would take up, and how popular they would be with the resident rodents. So those will probably not be grown again till I can figure out how to keep critters out, and have a space big enough for the bushy things. I keep notes on other things too. It's all in a binder, along with the tags from the perennials we've put in over the years and other info.
It's tough growing stuff up here, there's a lot of trial and error, and some years even green-thumb gardeners can't get good crops. So it's important to keep track over time. If the majority of years, a particular crop does well, then it increases the odds it's something that generally does well here. If not, and over time we learn something doesn't grow well here, then we just give that up in favor of stuff that's more forgiving. But without the garden journal, we wouldn't recognize the patterns.
If you don't know water-saving and labor-saving techniques, study up. We rarely weed and we use a lot of self-watering planters, minimizing what we do have to water. Mulching makes a big difference, too.
Plant some early crops. Once you start harvesting lettuce, radishes, and stuff like that and remember how good that stuff tastes, it helps keep up interest and enthusiasm.02-25-2012, 02:59 PM #5
I plan on doing the same here this summer, I told hubby that I'm going to can all the fruit I can get my hands on as well.02-25-2012, 03:07 PM #6
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growing veggies again this year too. I pray this year will yeild more. Like you...some came up & some didn't. Our soil here isn't too good - about the only thing that I've been able to get from it have been lettuce,blackberries & fruit trees. The rest of the veggies have to be planted in buckets & other containers. Compost helps tremendously.02-25-2012, 03:18 PM #7
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Just came in from our first round of cleaning up the garden plot. Filled 2 of our 3 compost bins with leaves and dead plants from last year, spread last year's compost on what will be the tomato bed this year. Also got my garlic planted.
I definitely agree with you on prices of food and gas. And I hope, for the sake of gardeners everywhere, that there's no drought this summer. That absolutely killed us last year.
For a more successful garden you might look into companion planting -- what things grow well next to each other and what things don't. Also, I swear by weed barrier. We have quackgrass -- the demon weed from hell -- and it is near impossible to keep out.Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now ~The Youngbloods
Use it up, Wear it out,
Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need ~Rolling Stones
A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown02-25-2012, 03:31 PM #8
I have had recent conversations with 2 ladies who have farms and good size gardens. Planning on what to put in for the farmer's market this summer. Also talking to 2 other ladies who put in good size gardens every year. We think a lot more people are going to be canning this year. Some will be new, and others will be dusting off their old skills.
My suggestion if you are new to canning, is to get your canning supplies as soon as possible. Because when season hits, you don't want to be scrambling for jars and lids, and none to be found. And I don't see prices coming down on anything.
I was in Aldi's the other day and saw canned peas for .99
THUD. I bought frozen for .99 a bag. More peas in bag, versus canned which has liquid for part of the weight. I guess we need to put more peas in this year.
We're going to have to put down black plastic and somehow figure out cheap ways to have raised beds. We have a good tiller but it seems to stir up weeds. Our dirt is a lot better now with the sawdust and poo from the chickens.
Instead of making the chicken yard bigger, I told the hubby we need to fence in the garden better and let the chickens free range. We had decent garden fence last year, but it's going to look shabby compared to what my plans are for this year.02-25-2012, 03:55 PM #9
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We're planning to start Phase Two of our garden expansion this year. That will entail building about 25 feet of fence with a gate, and at least one garden bed.
Last year we recycled some spare concrete blocks into a raised bed. This year we'll be using some telephone pole cross arms I picked up a few years ago for a dollar each.
We never get around to eating actual peas from our garden. We like the pea pods too much. I hope we get some to freeze this year. We love those and they're outrageously expensive, like $4/pound.
Nobody ate the green beans last year except us, so we're hoping to put in more of those this year and maybe get some to can or freeze.02-25-2012, 03:58 PM #10
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I would love a huge garden, but when i do the lady next door raises feral cats, which i don't hate cats if they are kept in your home, well she lets them breed so by summer we will have at least 40 feral cats 4 of them are pregnant now. The city will not do a thing about it. So they use my garden has a dumping ground which is nasty.I might see about getting some type of chicken wire something with big holes the plants can grow through.. Fustrated ..02-25-2012, 04:30 PM #11
Nana2two that's horrible! I myself have a brown thumb- couple that with the sand we have here in the Granite state (NH) and it's a sad, sad site, my poor past attempts at gardening...but OP, you're right, it's time to buckle down and get moving on this. I should really do some research on some the the easier things to grow.....was thinking about trying some hanging tomatos, one friend gave me a tip- you know those fancy upside down tomato hangers you could pay through the nose for? Well, just take a regular coconut hanger, slice some small holes, insert some seedlings that have started to grow.
I've been considering trying that this year- would like to try my hand at canning tomatoe sauce and salsa.02-25-2012, 05:19 PM #12
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I can't say enough about the benefits of gardening. We share a garden with our next door neighbor. We share the work and expense, and , of course, the produce. So far, it has worked out very well. And we have the extra bonus of socializing with our nice neighbors. I don't can, but do freeze quite a bit. We are still enjoying potatoes and onions from last fall's harvest; and I still have squash and green pepper in the freezer.Too Blessed to be Stressed.02-25-2012, 05:23 PM #13
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The coconut hangers dry out pretty fast.02-25-2012, 05:42 PM #14
I am planting the following for sure:
peppers (all colors)
squash (yellow & zucchini)
All of the above I have grown at one time or another successfully. Anything else I plant I never have much luck with.
I would love to have some root veggies (pots, sw pot, onions & carrots) but I have NEVER been able to grow anything like that.
And my corn, well that's a huge joke in itself. I really need to do the research and polish up my skills on these things coz I really do love all of them.
I have a nice fenced in garden plot that is surrounded by split rail fence with chicken wire on the bottom half. There are designated meandering beds outlined by brick with crushed stone walkways (think English Cottage type garden). The perimeter of the garden has raised beds surrounding all 4 sides.
So you see, I have the sources now I just need to get the gumption and do it right this year.
As someone said I need to start with a plan and get it all down on paper and that is what I will do.
Another plan I have is- I have been dragging home these plastic crates from the grocery (our produce comes packed in them) and my intentions are to line them with plastic (to keep the soil in), poke some holes for drainage, add soil and place them around the patio areas to house tomato & pepper plants. They are a low profile dark green so they will blend right in the outdoors. I will easily be able to get 2 plants per crate. My plan is to decorate the patios not with flowers but edible plants. And of course I have about a zillion patio pots that I can fill with goodies.
I have a booth at the farmers market that I sell handmade items at and if I am widely successful with my growing skills this year I might even be able to make a few bucks on my veggies too...02-25-2012, 05:50 PM #15
does anyone here plant by the signs? i've been reading Firefox books again and several times it's mentioned...my grandma, father, nanny all used the signs to plant (tallest corn I've ever seen grown around here lol). I try to do containers so success isn't guaranteed. waiting on my order to come in.... to start a friend of the family who's up in yrs bag gardens: he goes and buys (not sure which brand of soil) about 50 bags and has them around in his 'garden'. that man grows peppers, tomatoes, beans, squash, cucks.
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