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  • OT: Armchair vegetable gardening

    Tis the season of veggie gardening plans from the armchair! All the beds are currently perfect and weedfree, the tomatoes are gorgeous and without blemishes, and the deer haven't touched anything !

    What's everyone looking at growing this year?

    I just finished setting up 2 ~4'x6' raised beds and will let my old garden area go to lawn. My overall area will be reduced, but hopefully by being more intensive I won't have much loss in productivity, plus weeds should be much less of a problem...pigweed was a nightmare last year! I'll also do more underplanting among my apple and pears trees with peppers and squash, worked very well last year with banana and cubanelle peppers. An assortment of 4-6 tomatoes, cukes, zucchini, yellow squash, and sweet peppers are my normal selection. I also grew some mini-cantaloupes last year that were good, I'll try to squeeze some of those in again.
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

  • #2
    I'm not sure of all the varieties because my wife handles that...but I know we're planning 16 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, sweet and hot peppers, onions, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, cabbage, winter squash, pumpkins, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, beans, peas, etc. Last year we had 4 4x4 raised beds; this year we have a 30x75 tilled garden plot.
    Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep

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    • #3
      I'll be doing the usual, tomato, peppers, beans, zucchini, garlic, peas and spinach. I want to put in a herb garden. Maybe a 4 x 8 raised bed. My list so far, parsley, basil, rosemary, chives. I need to do more catalog shopping to fill it in.
      Wishlist; Green Michurinska, St. Rita
      Tony
      Sarver, PA Zone 6A.

      Comment


      • Sarahkt
        Sarahkt commented
        Editing a comment
        What about green onions (or Egyptian walking onions), thyme, dill, cilantro, Greek oregano, mint, and sage?

      • Tonycm
        Tonycm commented
        Editing a comment
        Mint is good but can be invasive. I have lemon mint and it grows everywhere that I don't want it too. Sage, thyme and the others you mention would all be good. I might need to make two raised beds😀

    • #4
      With my schedule last year, I hardly stepped into my garden. Taking that into account, I've revamped my veggie gardening plans to be as neglect proof as possible. I plan on putting in sweet potatoes, bush beans, zucchini, basil. If I get ambitious, I'll add in cherry tomatoes, bush cucumbers and eggplant.

      I'll also be trying my hand at growing strawberries from seed this winter (to go OT in an OT thread). My current strawberry beds have succumbed to the neglect. I've got alpine and Sarian seeds started in hopes of getting strawberry plants established closer to the house and in SIPs on the patio (i.e. closer to where the kids will likely be).
      Johnny
      Stuff I grow: Google Doc

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      • #5
        I'm narrowing my garden down to everything that I figure to use frequently, even though I like to try to grow everything. I have about 32 beds of differing sizes covering my front lawn.

        Veg: 7 types of tomato, 12-14 types of pepper (mostly hot, but some sweet), leeks, 2 types of lettuce, kale, chard, mustard, arugula, 3 types of winter squash, cukes, asparagus, 3 types of eggplant. I might throw in scallions somewhere.

        Herbs: parsley, basil, rosemary, sage, garlic (lots!), chives, oregano, tarragon, spearmint, thyme, dill, lemongrass

        Other edibles: borage, nasturtium, Mexican marigold, calendula
        Arne - Northern NJ - Zone 6A

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        • jkuo
          jkuo commented
          Editing a comment
          Just how big is your front lawn? With 32 beds, it sounds more like your whole front yard is a garden with some grassy walking paths.

        • ako1974
          ako1974 commented
          Editing a comment
          Big enough for my 32 beds, 5 bee hives, and a big patch of milkweed I planted for the monarchs.

          I got a free packet of sunflowers this year I'm going to need to find a place for, too....

      • #6
        I'm cutting back from over 100 tomato plants to only 20 Tycoon tomato plants. I'll be sowing the tomato seeds last week February first week March depending how I read my crystal ball next month. I will sow a few cuke and okra seeds and set out 6 jalapeno plants and that's it. Fig trees, goji berries and blackberries have taken over my garden.

        I am planning to plant as many fig trees in ground as I can. That will take the entire season because each fig tree will need to be fenced in to keep the deer away.
        Jerry, Canyon Lake TX 8b

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        • #7
          This year we'll be planting a lot less summer squash and green beans, that's for sure. We slightly miscalculated last year and neighbors and friends were running away from us near the end lest they be given more.

          Vegetables: corn, 8-10 tomato varieties (Sweet Treat cherry tomatoes have been the biggest hit), cucumbers, peas, carrots, artichokes, lettuce bed (lettuces, curly and flatleaf kale, Swiss chard, spinach, mizuna, spicy salad mix), many eggplant, sweet and spicy peppers, butternut and kobocha squashes, RESTRAINED numbers of green beans, zucchini, yellow crookneck, and other summer squashes

          Herbs: Italian parsley, sweet and Thai basis, rosemary, sage, chives, green onions, Egyptian walking onions, Greek oregano, mint, catnip, thyme, dill, cilantro, common rue

          Fruit: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, tayberries, Concord, Thomacord, Red Globe, and Muscat of Alexandria grapes, strawberries, watermelon, Ambrosia melons, potted fruit trees (many figs and 1-2 trees each of persimmon, pear, Asian pear, plum, pluot, peach, nectarine, pomegranate, apple, lemon, Chandler pomelo, navel orange, lime, Bacon avocado)

          I also went to my first CRFG scion exchange at the local chapter at Prusch Park last weekend. It exceeded my best hopes. My folks live a few towns over and I had to bring my dad who is a hardcore backyard gardener; after telling him about the exchange it would have been too cruel not to bring him. We brought a bunch of scions to contribute and considered it a lot when combined (blueberry, pomegranate, apple, persimmon, grapes) but it was just a molecule in the bucket that was there at the exchange. My dad walked away with scions for 25+ apple varieties, and I made out like a bandit! And then later on when I dropped him off, I got shown how to graft and even MORE scions from their yard, from apples, stone fruit, and a Giant Fuyu. I heard persimmons could be difficult to accept grafts, hence the huge amount of backup material on top of my spoils.

          The scion exchange (not sure why these came out sideways):


          Scions from parents' garden and from exchange:
          You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.
          Sarah
          Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

          Comment


          • Kelby
            Kelby commented
            Editing a comment
            Persimmons aren't hard in my experience, but take a little more work. Graft after the rootstock is fully leafed out and protect the graft union from sun by wrapping in foil.

          • Sarahkt
            Sarahkt commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks! Hey Kelby, if you don't already have a specific small cantaloupe in mind, you might want to check out Ambrosia melons if you haven't already. Sweetest and most flavorful cantaloupes of my life, small or otherwise.

          • Kelby
            Kelby commented
            Editing a comment
            I'll keep that in mind! I have seeds from last year that should be enough, but we'll see!

        • #8
          I'm hoping to have a garden again this summer, but that really will depend if we get more rain and put a dent in the drought. Right now I'm redoing a couple garden beds to be able to absorb more water from the downspouts. I'll also add more organic matter. If not enough rain, they will remain fallow. If there is enough water, I'll grow tomatoes, zucchini, onions, several chili varieties, tetsukabutos and kabochas (winter squash), and many bush romano beans. Yum!

          Right now I"m growing an array of baby salad greens in containers. Lettuce, tatsoi, mizuna, chard, spinach, kale, collards, peas, bokchoi, mache, beets, and a few other things. I'm trying to find a good mix that is easy, attractive, tasty, and productive.
          SoCal, zone 10.
          www.ourfigs.com Invite your friends.

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          • #9
            This is a great topic Kelby, you caught me in the beginning stages of planning for the growing season. I do plan to be adding hopefully two more raised beds if time allows and experiment more with some gutter gardens. As far as what I'm planning to grow, I am not completely sure yet. Most likely the typical fair such as tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and peas,some corn, some squash and so on. I'll have a better idea around March.
            Last edited by COGardener; 01-13-2016, 07:05 AM. Reason: Also, as some of you know I make small batch artisanal pepper sauces. I will be growing as many of the ingredients for my sausage as I possibly can.
            Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

            “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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            • #10
              I have had for years 4 slightly raised growing beds, each 4x8. I always grow several staples that for me are so much better home grown - fresh lettuce for daily salads, tomatoes, sweet peppers and several hot peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peas and green beans. I will often add something else to the mix - kale, collards or chard, zucchini(but I get those for free from others often), a cantaloupe. I have trouble fitting more in my beds, so the last 2 years I made some extra SIPs and put some peppers and tomatoes in them, with mixed results. Last year, I also planted a few varied cherry tomatoes in a strip between the sidewalk and back wall of the house that did fantastic...but that will be taken over by a few inground fig plantings this year. I also have a small asparagus bed that we might harvest for the first time this year.

              It is going to be a challenge to get all this in this year, a certain IT guy here made me take garlic bulbs as an exchange for fig cuttings and they took up 1/8 of my garden space (j/k Chuck, my wife and I are both excited about the garlic). Would like to add more garden beds but that will be a lot more work than I have time for (including adding more garden fencing to exclude deer).

              Since I have taken up my seed starting area with fig cuttings I will likely be buying only seeds for direct planting. But I am missing some seed catalogs - they seem late this year or a few have taken me off their list!

              Plus I still need to add a couple more apple and peach trees to the orchard, gotta start searching them out.
              Ed
              SW PA zone 6a

              Comment


              • SarinaP
                SarinaP commented
                Editing a comment
                I have a Red Haven peach tree and it's doing reeeeally well. $20 something at Home Depot 4 years ago; last year, I got over 80 peaches.

              • Sarahkt
                Sarahkt commented
                Editing a comment
                I have a Red Haven and an Elberta peach, and an Artic Jay nectarine. The Elberta are large and great, but Red Haven has been a standout. Much better than what I've had at the grocery stores. Space is limited so I'm going to graft other varieties onto those. I obtained a diverse batch of stone fruit scion for grafting at a CRFG scion exchange last weekend, and plan to try grafting on Pix Zee,Saturn, and some of the Pride varieties onto the peaches, and anything in the Artic family for nectarines, as well as Baby Crawford, Double Delight, and Heavenly White for the nectarines.

                I have just one Fuji apple tree, and going to put on Braeburn and Granny Smith to flower and cross-pollinate around the same time, as well as Gravenstein, Cox Orange Pippin, Reinette de France, Gala, and Jonagold. Will keep going until I run out of of branches!

            • #11
              I've started some arugula and spinach in pots--they both sprouted in 2 and 3 days, respectively. I potted up my Tuscan and Winterbore kales and they are both still producing well in the sunroom. I'll definitely do more of those for next year. I always plant long beans, and keep my seeds so I've got plenty of those. Sugar snap peas didn't do well for me... probably because Charlie liked running through them. My favorite tomatoes are Sun Gold, and I'm still trying to get a melon--I have Charentais seeds and Minnesota Midget cantaloupes. I started a garlic bed so I can't wait to see how that does. My big preoccupation will be my figs though, trying to espalier some of the hardier varieties along the exterior wall. I'm so excited!
              Zone 7a in Virginia

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              • #12
                If anyone is looking to swap seeds I've got plenty of bell pepper seeds (assorted types), some Cubanelle and banana peppers, cukes, tomatoes (Pink Brandywine, Mortgage lifter, and a few others) and other stuff like summer squash, pumpkins, and melons. I work at a garden center and get the year old seed free since we can't sell them by law even though it all germinates fine. If you're not picky about variety I can send some seeds of nearly any crop (except beans and corn, none left).

                I'm still looking for seeds of tomatoes Sungold and Early Girl, if anyone has any they want to swap.
                https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
                SE PA
                Zone 6

                Comment


                • Kelby
                  Kelby commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I bought some Sungold from Baker Creek last winter that was supposed to be a stabilized strain. They were red and un-exceptional.

                • Sarahkt
                  Sarahkt commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Sorry, don't have either of those. I still have some Ambrosia melon F1 seeds (Harris) from last year you're welcome to if interested, though.

                • eboone
                  eboone commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Sungold has been one of my best cherry toms over the past several yrs

              • #13
                This year I'll be growing the usual suspects (tomatoes, garlic, onions, squash (summer and butternut), and leeks) and will be allocating more space to salad type crops (lettuce, carrots, beets, green onions, sugar snap peas) seeing they are so much better fresh. IMHO

                More time will be spent with my pole beans and cukes (i'm going to try and grow some in the GH this year to see how they do).

                I'll also be planting potatoes again seeing they are relatively low maintenance for me.

                Looking forward to "planting" some potted figs in my new garden area and see how that helps them.

                Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

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                • #14
                  I've got blueberries, sweet potatoes in 20 gal pots, a few lettuces, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, melons, beans, carrots, garlic and more I've forgotten. This year I'm producing true garlic seed but next year I want different varieties. The easier the garlic produces true seed, the hotter it is. I want garlics that have a strong garlic flavor without so much heat.
                  Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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