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Thread: frugal food gardeners update
05-17-2005, 01:58 AM #1
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frugal food gardeners update
Okay gardeners. A number of us joined the frugal food thread about 6 weeks ago and by now we might have some information to share about our vegetables.
In my garden, the potatoes are in and sprouting about 2 feet above the ground. I'll have to mulch them soon, I've been waiting while I try to decide whether to add more potatoes or not, as not all of them grew. I think I'll get a few more and mulch when I plant them. First though, I'll cut back the comfrey leaves and lay that along with the mulch. Potatoes love comfrey.
In addition to the potatoes I have about 24 tomatoe plants, all about 8 inches tall, I've planted basil in between the tomatoes. I have a bed of onions, some strawberries that are fruiting, celery, carrots, beans, peas, silverbeet, zuchinnis, chilis, parsley and thyme. They are all growing well but are still small.
I'm also transplanting an orange tree and some bananas so they are closer to my water tank.
My camera is broken otherwise I would have provided photos. Maybe later when I buy a new camera.
Who esle has an update on their frugal food garden?
- 05-17-2005, 09:22 AM #2
In April I harvested........ 7 meals worth of sugar snap peas, dried 2 huge bowlfuls of Italian parsley, 3 carrots, 3 tomatoes, and fresh basil. (I think that's right!)
So far in May I have harvested....... 7 carrots, fresh basil, 23 radishes, a huge head of black seeded simpson lettuce, a huge head of romaine lettuce (the only one that grew for me!), and 38 (I think) tomatoes.
My tomato plants came to the end of their life (burbank tomatoes), but I have more growing they just don't seem to be doing well (and neither do my roma). It may be the weather here, who knows.
I have tons more Italian parsley I need to harvest and dry. Everything else (sunflowers, squash, zucchini, green beans, radishes, cucumbers, cilantro, basil, corn, carrots, broccoli) seems to be doing okay so far. My thyme, lavender, oregano, chives, and moss curled parsley didn't come up though.
05-17-2005, 09:24 AM #3
I forgot my fruit trees!
My valencia orange was loaded with blossoms and now fruits are beginning to grow a wee bit at a time. There are 3 existing oranges on it. The myers lemon seems to be doing okay - just 1 fruit on it still.
05-17-2005, 09:38 AM #4
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Okay, I'll post an update.
I have onions that are at the "green onion" stage and could be harvested for that purpose -- but I'll let 'em get bigger I think.
There is some spinach and buttercrunch lettuce that is at a harvestable stage. My asparagus is mulched and ready to soak up energy for next season -- I quit harvesting about 10 days ago and I miss that wonderful stuff!
I spent Sunday afternoon thinning the carrots, beets, collards, and chard. It hurt to pull so many little plants out, but it had to be done. And my peas are blooming as of yesterday. I also planted a few "asparagus peas" --- something that caught my eye in the Seed Savers Exchange catalog. I've never grown them before so don't know quite what to expect. They are not climbers, and are sort of spreading out on the ground. They have a red blossom and I noticed last night that the leaves and blossoms close up at twilight.
We were given 3 blackberry plants and have added them to our blackberry patch. The blackberries are just about ready to bloom -- the wild ones in the fencerows are already blooming.
My three rhubarb plants I started this year are doing well. I do not plan to harvest any this year and hope for great stuff next year!
Potatoes are up and about 8" high. We had poor sprouting for some reason and had to consolidate about 8 rows into 3. I didn't know if they would "transplant" but all those we moved are doing okay.
We have 8 tomato plants -- 5 Italian Heirloom and 3 Stupice (new to me varieties from the Seed Savers Exchange people -- SSE). I want to get a cherry tomato plant and a few of the Big Boy variety from the garden center. We tried something new with staking our tomatoes last year and are going to do it again this year. We stake a cattle panel (10- 12' long ?) along one side of the row of the tomatoes and then tie the plants up to the cattle panel. It makes it easier to get in and pick them. I may put the cherry tomato into a container and close to the house -- just don't know yet!
I still don't have my green peppers in the garden, but they are in pots and hardened off and ready to go.
The corn is up about 4" and looks good. We planted 3 varieties -- peaches & cream, and 2 I can't recall the name of right now.
We still plan to put in sweet potato plants but they are not due in to the garden center until the end of May. And I want to plant okra to make okra pickle. I may put in some green beans if I have room.
Also on Sunday I planted zucchini, cucumbers, Amish Melon cantelope (SSE) , Blacktail Mountain watermelon (SSE), Tigger watermelon (SSE) and some pie pumpkins. I may put in some acorn squash if I have a place to squeeze it in. I am growing the cucumbers on a large wire cage we used originally for a tomato cage. I planted 4 hills around the perimeter of the cage and one in the center, -- I hope I will get a nice supply this way. I grew one hill on the cage last year and got a few cukes to eat fresh, but not enough to suit me -- and I'd like to make some pickle this year, too.
That is all I can think of --- I know it sounds like a big garden but its not. We have 2 gardens -- one close to the house and one behind our barn. The one behind the barn has the tomatoes, potatoes, corn, and will have the sweet potatoes and okra and green beans.
We are mulling and musing over putting gutters on one side of the barn (the garden side) and catching rainwater into a rainbarrel for watering this garden. Just don't have this project begun yet.
I almost forgot to mention my "volunteer" potato plant. It is coming up where my peas are growing. 3 or 4 years ago I had potatoes planted here, and I guess whatever was left behind is making a "volunteer" plant. I'll keep it to see what happens.
05-17-2005, 03:29 PM #5
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Thanks for the update, ladies. It certainly is inspiring to read about what's growing over there.
Kim, I had problems with my Romas too. I always try to follow up my main tomato planting with a set of Romas but this year I've had a lot of problems with them. I've thrown the seedlings out as they looks misshapen and very sad. My meyer lemon is absolutely full of lemons that are starting to turn yellow now. What do you use your lemons for?
Jean, I noticed you're growing asparagus. I bought 4 plants last year which I haven't planted yet. They died down in their pots last year and have sprouted again. I'm hesitating because when I've grown it in the past, i've never grown enough to make a decent meal out of it. How many plants do you have growing? How many spears do you get from each plant? and... how long have your plants been growing? I might need to get a few more plants.
05-17-2005, 04:39 PM #6
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I think we have at least 12 plants plus the wild patch we are able to harvest from. I am not sure how much I get from each plant -- maybe 5 or 6 cuttings. These plants are about 12 - 15 years old. The wild patch has far superior plants in it, but I don't know how old it is either.
In my opinion, I need more plants in the garden asparagus bed. It has also been neglected over the years and I'm planning to really nurture it this season in hopes that next year it will give a better harvest.
I would suggest you get more plants, Rhonda. And did you know you only harvest when the spears are the size of a pencil or bigger?
05-17-2005, 05:07 PM #7
Well, I haven't really been able to harvest much yet owing to the fact that I live in zone 5 and it is still a bit chilly.
I did pick some rhubarb. I have one large-ish plant, one medium, and one very little new transplant. I may divide the large one again next year and have four. I drove by the house of someone up the road from me, and their rhubarb plants are gigantic! I wish mine were that big.
I have also picked a few garlic greens to use as flavoring, but I can't pick too many because I want the garlic to continue to grow.
I went to the little farm stand a few miles from my house today and picked up 8 strawberry (everbearing) plants, two horseradish starts, and three really lush looking red lettuce plants for only $8. I really want some Alpine strawberries, but I think I may have to go into "the city" to a large garden center to get some. I have not had too much luck getting them started from seed, but as I mentioned before, they were a bit neglected. I don't know whether the plants I bought are first year strawberries or 2nd year- I am guessing they are first year since they were so cheap. The woman who was running the store today is elderly and didn't know- she said her son is the one who grows them and he is the one who knows about them. I will just work on the assumption that thy are first year and maybe I will get a couple berries from the 2nd crop.
Already in the garden are tomato plants, cucmbers, potatoes, pumpkins, onions, shallots, garlic, peppers, peas, beans, lettuce, and several herbs. I feel like I am forgetting something, but I don't know what.
Anyway, I look forward to a nice harvest, but it is going to be quite a while still!
05-17-2005, 05:48 PM #8
Rhonda - The lemon tree we just put in not even a year ago yet so the one lone lemon on it is the very first thing it has bore. Ds is anxious to make lemonade. Dh uses a lot of lemon juice in marinades and on seafood.
I also forgot about the wild blackberries I discovered up by our front gate. I have gotten 2 berries so far. LOL The birds must be feasting on them.
05-17-2005, 06:50 PM #9
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My garden is just now starting here in IN.
I have been picking lettuce, green onion, spinich, radishes, & lemon balm.
My Green beans are just now popping up, and my cuke seems to be doing well.
I had problems with my tomatoes last year so I mixed my little plot all around this year and planted them on the other end!! Hope it helps them!!
I have been reading Square Foot Gardening, very good book!!
I don't have very much space where I live now. But I tuck plants anywhere I can. Even in the landscaping!! Some folks will say you have such pretty landscaping, and I laugh... they'll be looking right at my spinich patch!!!
I am trying to get Rosemary started from seeds, cause I couldn't afford to order any. I have 3 tiny sprouts so I keep talkin to them!! I hope the little gals make it!!!
Maybe this weekend I will snap some pictures!!Bridge
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05-17-2005, 07:08 PM #10
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Here's my update:
I have tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, okra, peppers, corn, onions, canteloupe and watermelon planted. Everything seems to be doing good except the onions. They are growing very well.
We haven't picked anything yet as it hasn't produced any food yet. The squash does have lots of yellow flowers were the squash will eventually grow. I also noticed yesterday that the cucumbers are just started to produce. So maybe soon I will start picking my first vegetables!!
05-18-2005, 10:59 AM #11
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We are still getting frost here at night so I've planted nothing. My perennial herbs are just coming up and the blossoms are starting on the apple trees. It will be July at least before we harvest anything this year.
05-18-2005, 11:21 AM #12
I am square foot gardening this year. I have plenty of room, but I am really...ummmm...exacting, and i just like the tidiness of it, but I do find it a little limiting. I don't have enough room for my vining plants. But I will work it out, and generally, I like the idea. I will try to post pictures of my garden in a separate thread later today.
I was able to get a nice rosemary plant for about $2.50 at the local garden store. I started some from seed earlier this year, but they are VERY slow growers, so I wanted to supplement with something I could use this year. I absolutely LOVE rosemary and we had a plant when we moved here, but DH killed it....
Good luck with your little seedlings!
05-18-2005, 03:55 PM #13
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LOL @ "exacting". Kimber, you sound like my DH.
It looks like most of us are heading towards a good harvest. Chriss, I hope your weather warms up enough for planting soon. I'm pruning my rosemary today and taking from cuttings to plant on. I'm doing the same with my bay tree. My son is here so I'll cut a few branches for him to take home and I'll pot on a few cuttings for little trees to give away. I have to find some more potatoes to plant today otherwise it'll be too late.
Welcome to the gardening threads, Bridge. We have a gardener's club you can join if you like.
05-19-2005, 07:35 AM #14
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Kimberlina, we are square foot gardening here too!
We had frost again last night! I think I am going to start rummaging at garage sales for items to build cold frames this summer so that next year I can start earlier. Worried about our farmers though as this cooler weather will really set them back!
05-19-2005, 10:16 AM #15
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Some of our plants are getting bigger. We planted a bit late this year due to unusually cold weather late in the year.
We won't harvest anything for another 1-2 months though.
Some of the tomato plants though 18" tall or less already have tomatoes on them though.
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