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Discussion Starter #1
Well, it's time to start my gardening journal for the year. Hopefully, I'll do a better job than last year but 2016 was a rough year for me. Right now, there's nothing really to be done until March at the earliest. I'll start turning over the soil then once I sign up again for the garden. (I have a 10x20' plot in a community garden.)

Other than that, I do plan on putting in more tomatoes than I did last year since I started making tomato sauce. Will likely also put in peas/beans and maybe try the cabbage again this year. Other than that, I don't know. I have hit or miss success with cucumbers and carrots.
 

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Yes, yes...please keep this thread going.
I would like to be more dedicated to my garden this year. Last year I grew watermelon ( BIG MISTAKE as the vines took up too much space and I could not keep up with the watering), cukes ( the squash bugs ate all but one), flowers ( Did GREAT), tomatoes ( DID WONDERFUL), swiss chard ( produced LOTS). The squirrels ate all my apples and plums. Right now I have butter lettuce and swiss chard going.
 

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I can only manage a small container garden on my balcony (I'm on the waiting list for a community plot but the list is looong!). This past summer was my first time trying and I had tomatoes (starter plants given to me by a friend), peppers (starter plants given to me by a friend), spinach, strawberries and 2 types of lettuce. I was SO excited except the garden was a massive failure due to 3 significant hailstorms that passed through. Each storm was timed perfectly and came along *just* as my plants had recovered from the previous storm and were starting to grow again. In the long run, the only edibles that came from the garden were greens. The spinach never took but if you needed lettuce, I was your girl (So. Much. Lettuce!)

I'm just thankful I don't rely on that garden for sustenance because I would have starved to death. I can't imagine what its like to watch hailstorms destroy plants knowing you NEEDED that garden to produce, it was heartbreaking enough to watch when the garden was just a hobby.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the encouragement. I really missed not getting into the garden often last year.

This year, I plan on growing more tomatoes to make into sauce. I do regret not doing that sooner.

Frugal.lass, I'm also thankful I don't rely on my garden for sustenance. Otherwise I would've starved since I didn't take care of it very well last year. I'm fortunate to have a plot in the community garden since my balcony doesn't get enough sun during the day. Still, whatever you can do is always a great place to start. I think of this as stockpiling skills.

Larabelle, I'm a bit jealous that you're able to get the chard and lettuce going. I tried cabbage but the bugs got to it. I'll try again this year and ask for suggestions on keeping the bugs off them. (I want to try making HM sauerkraut.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, the next step in garden has arrived - the annual paperwork for all those interested in being in the garden. There's usually a waiting list for available plots. I do need to get some seeds for peas and carrots. I usually wait until the farmer's market opens to purchase tomato and cucumber starts. That opens in May so I have time to work the soil, which it will desperately need after last year. I didn't do as much last year since my Mom died. But I definitely want to get back into it again since I know she really enjoyed hearing about it. Not to mention enjoying the veggies I brought over to her.

Besides, gardening is good exercise and I need to get back into that as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Started turning the soil in my plot. Haven't planted anything yet but I should start soon. Just slowly working on building up my endurance again as I didn't do much last year. But I'm glad to be back in the garden again. Going to plant my usual crops - tomatoes, peas/beans, carrots, and probably cabbage. I did look at asparagus but I'm a little leary of trying them since they're perenials. I do have the same plot year after year but I don't want to have them run rampant like strawberries. Maybe next year if the crowns are sold again.
 

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I've got some of my garden planted:

Better Boy tomatoes
Sungold cherry tomatoes
Bell pepper
Jalapeno pepper
Lima beans
Green onions
Garlic
Radishes
Beets
Lettuce
Basil
Rosemary
Spearmint
Stevia
Sage
Cilantro
Parsley

I still have to plant the okra and cucumbers. And I want to get some Roma tomatoes to make sauce.

Oh, I also planted 4 blueberry bushes and some assorted flowers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
wjc - nice! Is the stevia overly sweet or is that because of how it's processed as a sugar alternative?

The weather's finally warming up enough to put more time into getting the garden prepped and planted in my area. Going to wait until the weekend to actually get back in there since we're supposed to get 1-2 inches of rain tomorrow. While Friday will be chilly, the ground will probably still be too wet to try and turn the soil. We've had ~3 inches of rain in the past week, although it's had time to drain a bit. But that's still a lot of water still in the soil. So we have flood warnings for tomorrow.

On the other hand, we're finally coming out of the drought conditions we've had for most of the past year.
 

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Don't know about the stevia. This is the first time I've grown it!
I wouldn't think it would be as sweet as the processed stuff.
I want to try putting a few of the leaves in a cup of tea to see what happens.
I've read articles about making a homemade stevia extract, so i want to try that.
I'll post my results!
 

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That's a nice list of plants for the garden. I like those sungold tomatoes and will probably buy 1 or 2 for my garden. It is still too cold here to plant much, I put in lettuce and spinach a couple weeks ago and it is sprouting, but we are told to expect a light freeze tonight.

I seeded several tomatoes and finally got a 2nd sprout. The seed is from 2016, it should not be that hard to germinate. Our community garden sent around a notice today saying they will have plants for sale in 3 weeks! I guess if I am going to seed anything I better get started.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Don't know about the stevia. This is the first time I've grown it!
I wouldn't think it would be as sweet as the processed stuff.
I want to try putting a few of the leaves in a cup of tea to see what happens.
I've read articles about making a homemade stevia extract, so i want to try that.
I'll post my results!
Yes, please post your results. I'm definitely interested in finding out how the leaves are. And what the taste is like without being processed. Does it have a green leafy taste, for example.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Did some more work in the garden but not as much I should have or would have liked. The township delivered some compost for us to use. I don't think it'll be enough so I hope we can get some more once this batch is used. But this week is going to be warm and mostly dry so I'll be able to get more work done after work.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The soil's been turned and I'm in the process of putting the compost on. Once I get that done, I'll rake everything smooth and I'll be ready for planting. I'm a bit late this year on some of the seeds but it was a really chilly and rainy end of March and beginning of April. Going to plant most of my usual suspects (tomatoes, peas/beans, and carrots). Funny thing is, I had some carrots still in the ground from last year. :lol: I guess that was an early harvest, huh?
 

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"stockpiling skills" - such a great concept. I was finally able to plant seeds 4/19: bush green beans, lettuce, beets. More to do. My rented plot is supposed to be 20X30' (have not measured). It is divided into beds and I erected 2 teepees w/ long tree branches wired together at the top.

Mistakes last year: marigolds planted w/ tomatoes. Those marigolds were monsters and surely stole all the fertilizer from the tomatoes. Harlequin beetles devastated the cabbage family crops, need to use a cover if I want to try those again. Eggplants always puny and unproductive. I now read they require a LOT of fertilizer which I did not provide. Undecided about them this year. Bush beans planted along the outer fence line were eaten by deer.

Last year was my first time growing okra and I really enjoyed getting it and cooking w/it. Only half the seeds germinated so I will plant even more this year.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Got the peas and carrots planted. I always rotate where I plant them in my plot each year. The peas and beans are supposed to put nitrogen back in the soil and it confuses the pests a bit. (At least I hope it does.)

The township delivered some compost at the beginning of the month but it's gone. The regulars (people who have come back year after year) start early, as soon as it's warm enough to start planting and they pretty much put in a lot of compost in their plots. So I was only able to get half my plot composted. And there are others who haven't started working their plots (as well as the new people) who didn't get any. But since we got it from the township again this year, hopefully we can get more. Then again, I'm sure the township likes that we're putting the compost to use.

I'm going to wait a couple of weeks to get some tomato plants when the farmer's market opens again for the year. I had planned to go to an early farmer's market this past Saturday but ended up having to pack up my Dad's stuff. I may stop by some gardening/nursery places this coming Saturday if I happen to pass by when they're open. But I'm going to LARP, which I haven't done in 6 months. I've missed that.

Going to plant more tomatoes this year (at least more than last year). I really enjoyed making the pasta sauce last year. That was just tomatoes, whatever herbs I had on hand, and some grape jelly for sweetness to counter the acidity of the tomatoes.
 

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No planting for us yet. It snowed last night and it's cold and windy. I'm looking at Pinterest for garden ideas instead. Apparently I don't have enough projects going.

We did get the floor done in the greenhouse yesterday, so that's something.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Rain today. At least I don't have to water my peas and carrots. :lol:

Would've like to have picked up some plants at the farmer's market this past weekend. But the local weekly farmer's market opens next weekend (in May) which is where (and when) I pick up my tomato plants. If they don't have cucumber starts, I'll plant the seeds I picked up.

Glad to be back in the garden again.
 

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I planted more seeds (herbs, okra) and picked chard and washed it. I'll cook it Thursday. Slugs already, ugh. I put slug bait down. The 3 tomatoes planted look good. However full sun and hot on Thursday may overwhelm them. I have 4 more tomato plants sitting on the porch if the ones in ground don't make it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Found a garden nursery relatively close by. I might check it out either this weekend or sometime next week to see if they have anything interesting I can pick up for my plot. I'd much rather get stuff from local small merchants than big stores for most things, such as my garden.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The weekly farmer's market in my area opens tomorrow. Yay. Going to check on what plant starts they have available. The ground will likely still be wet with all the rain we're having today. Although that does fill up the cistern which we have to rely on for the moment. The township has to fix a leak in the pipes for our water supply.

If it rains tomorrow, I won't have to water whatever I put in the ground tomorrow.
 
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