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Time to think about this year's gardens! --- What do all of you guys plan on planting this year?
Would like all of you to join in this thread and show your stuff!---ideas, layouts, growing methods, harvesting and processing, etc. Last year's thread was great! --- let's make another great year!
Happy gardening for 2021!!
 

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Well, after last year's disaster with my first ever garden, I realized that it was a bit more than dropping a few seeds then reaping a harvest. One of the lessons learned was that the soil I currently have needs help which is the goal this year. Right now and for the next few months, the house remodel that I'm doing myself after the contractors did the big stuff, is going to occupy most of my time.
Learned quite a bit on this thread last year and will continue this year, too.
 

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Probably much of the same. Just rotate in different spots in the garden as usual. I got 10-15 onion plants from a buddy who bought some cheap onion seeds from a big box store, and weren't what they said they were on the packet. They were supposed to be th large Ailsa Craig onions, and ended up being some type of bunching onion/green onion variety. They were in the second year last year, and were forming seed heads. So got some to grow my own seed. They did pretty well, and got quite a few seeds from the heads last Fall. Put them in a paper bag, and have been in the heated shop I'll be starting them next month, just scattering them in a tray of seed starting media, to grow transplants. Way more plants in a tray like that, than in separate cell trays. I have better luck here growing onions in hilled rows. Keeps them up out of the water during the Spring rains. And, will do the grass/leaf mulching again. Saves a lot of work keeping the weeds out of closely set plants. In this sandy loam clay, it sheds the heavy water, yet holds enough moisture for growth.

I saved some bean, and pea seed to replant this year. Just need to get some innoculant to coat them before planting. I'm planning on doing more donating this year to a local kitchen that provides meals for homeless/less fortunate near here. Last year I was told they weren't accepting much prodice, because they were basically doing sack type lunches, due to the Covid thing. Found out way late in the season, that that only lasted maybe a week, then went back to providing regular meals. Besides geting the warm fuzzy feeling of providing food for these folks, they give you a tax credit for deductions off your income tax, so might as well take advantage of it.

Will definitely make tomato juice next year, like I did last. I always cook cut tomatoes before running through the Squeezo, to make it a lot easier going through it. Last year, I strained off the watery juice, to make it thicker. What a huge difference that makes..!! I put a lot up in pint jars, and drink it right out of the jar at meal time. I just keep 3-4 in the fridge to get cold. And, whenever in the notion for it, it's ready. Definitely need to be looking for canning lids early. I know they are pretty much a seasonal item, and glad I got some early last year, as usual. With the food shortage fear last year, items like that were scarce when canning time came. I'm thinking a lot of people may not think it's worth the bother this year, and these items will be more available. I'll have them on hand, just in case.I still see ads on FB MarketPlace, Craigslist,and just on the internet where people hoarded up supplies, and are still asking prices 3X-4X times what they paid for them. I hope they have to eat them...

Thinking also of planting a small block of Indian Corn to sell this Fall. The neighbors across the road plant approx. 3 acres of Pumpkins to sell for decorations, and have quite a little enterprise going. My first thought was to grow the little decorative gourds, to accent their large pumpkins, yet not step on their toes selling the big one's. Saw on a FaceBookad, where they were seiing them too. Sooo,decided on the Indian Corn. Another neighbor planted a small block of field corn to cut, and bundle for decorations, and seemed to do pretty well at that too. We're in an area close to the city of Columbus, where upscale housing develpoments are popping up everywhere, and they all seem to like to decorate for the upcoming holidays. We're all on high traffic roads when folks go home from work. So setting up a small stand to get fresh veggies on the way home should work well. Keep prices below grocery prices, yet enough to cover cost of the rest of the garden that I harvest for myself, and preserve.

I need to get my potato planter in the Shop this Spring, and build a hitch suitable to pull with a tractor. The PO I bought it off of, has like an 6' 4 X 4 on it. Way higher than the drawbars on my tractors with IH Fast Hitch. Probably use some lighter gauge 3-1/2" square tubing, and make some 45º angle cuts w/fishplates to drop the hitch level. My 240 Utility has a slow first gear, so should be perfect for pulling it. Just need to get a buddy of mine to drive, while I keep potatoes in the turntable to feed it. Not that hard to hand drop them, but our local antique tractor clubs also plants about 3/4 acre of potatoes to donate to a local food bank. Thay also grow pumpkins, and Indian Corn to sell to make money for the club. It's all grown on a Historical Farm owned by the County Parks Dept. In the Fall they put on a big harvest weekend, showing folks how such things are harvested. They even let people pick up potatoes for home use. There are so many, there's plenty left for the food bank. The club owns a couple pull type mechanical diggers. Always have a spare on hand, in case of a breakdown. They also plant several acres of corn, and have a corn binders to make it into bundles, which they sell for decorations. Whats left is saved in a barn, and ran through a corn shredder the following summer at the clubs show. Shredded stalks are used for bedding for one of the guy's in the club. Ear corn is ran through a sheller also displayed. Should be a fun summer..!!

I see lots of friends on social media complaining they are depressed, because of the dreary winter weather. Here, I'm keeping busy getting ready for Spring. Lots of projects to do in the shop before that time comes. I've spent a couple of weeks cleaning up the shop, from past projects completed, and items I've picked up to scrap out. Old electric motors people set out for the refuse haulers. Seems I picked up more than I realized. Good rainy/snowy day projects to tear apart, and salvage the copper. Wish scrap iron prices were up a little, getting quite a little pile.But, I'll load it up when the weather is fit this Spring, and get a load of limestone on the way home, killing two birds with one stone. Always something to do around here..!!
 

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"I see lots of friends on social media complaining they are depressed, because of the dreary winter weather. Here, I'm keeping busy getting ready for Spring. Lots of projects to do in the shop before that time comes. I've spent a couple of weeks cleaning up the shop, from past projects completed, and items I've picked up to scrap out."
You have just perfectly identified the problem with two examples. One, the depressed, living life 'on line', the other the guy (you) involved in real life. I see this all the time now ,and worry that we have generations of depressed folks who may have never experienced or appreciate the joy (and sometimes heartbreak) of real life! What comes across the social media drives their outlook, drains ambition, and presents a completely unreal perspective. Depressed? How could they be otherwise?

Folks need to get out there, even just sitting in a lawn chair in city lot on a cloudy day, and take in the surroundings! The world is filled with fantastic sights and sounds, and for some reason, fills one with ambition and drive. I feel sorry for those locked into the digital world. Some day they will be old, and wonder what the heck happened.
 
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Well, it's January 5th and cold + snowy here in Michigan, but that doesn't stop me from starting to think about 2021's garden! We recently moved, so now I am debating where to set up my grow shelf and lights for seed starting. Our last house had a rather dark basement that also seemed to encourage sporadic mold and mushroom growth on my plants. We ran a dehumidifier, but I think the air was just too damp in the basement of the last house; it was a struggle starting healthy plants most years.

Today, at our new place, we have a well lit walkout basement that is nice and dry; I can hardly wait to start my seeds! Thinking I may set up my shelf and lights near one of the windows in the basement this week. It'll be 6 weeks before I can realistically start any seeds, but by mid-late February, I should be able to start leaks and celery indoors. Normally, people would start onions about then too, but I've found it's so much easier here in the north just to buy onion bulbs from the local feed store.

Anyone else scheming starting seeds yet?
 

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Well got some things for my son for his raised beds. Some weed mat for in between the beds to keep the weeds in check, some row shelter accelerators to let him plant a bit earlier. Not sure what he's got planned for the garden this year though. It's always interesting to see what he decides he wants to grow.
 

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I got some garlic in the ground a few months ago....should have them in June....I don't have a lot of room to work, but I did have that big tree come down in August, so I have an area with sun...no more tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets!
 

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Were is everyone planning on getting seed this year? Needs to be done before long. If like last year supplies could get scarious if one waits to long.
 

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I got my seeds last year from Baker Creek out of Springfield, MO. They are closed until Thursday, 1-7-21, for restocking.
 
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Two buddies of mine built their own seed starting/germinating chambers, using an old refridgerator, or freezer, a small crockpot, and or one of those potpouri pots, and a heating mat digital thermostat. They set the cooker in the bottom, and fill it with water. Set the thermostat for around 90º, creating a warm moist enviromant. Place seed trays on the shelves, then wait. My one buddy germinated onion seeds in 3 days.

Granted, he's growing plants for a market garden, but still a pretty neat idea. If I had the extra room, I'd do it myself. It's not hard to come up with a 'fridge/freezer that has bitten the dust. Small slow cookers at a thrift store for a couple of bucks, and I'm thinking those thermostats are approx. $30 on Amazon.

Once germinated, they are set out in a warm, sunny spot. No light needed inside the fridge/freezer, as you're only germinating the seeds.

Personally, I use a dampened percolator coffee filter, inside a quart zip lock freezer bag. These are placed on a card table in my livingroom, which gets lots of sun. I start checking them after the 3rd day. Some other seeds such as peppers take 5-6 days. Once germinated, I fill cell trays with damp growing media, take a pencil and poke a hole in the media to make a divot to place the germinated seed in the hole, then cover it up. I put partial sheets of plywood on sawhorses in the corner of my heated shop. I have light panels at the top, and seems to have good enough light for them to grow. But, I also hang a $15 LED shop light from Rural King about 1 foot above them, for a growing light.

I only start plants that I can't get from the Amish greenhouse. They are so reasonable on prices, $11.00 for 6 dozen plants, it's worth the drive.

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For those who like dry beans, something else came to mind. The least expensive bean seed to buy, is off the grocery store shelf. My one buddy got a 1 lb. bag of Great Northern's at a dollar store for a buck. I've grown GN's, Navy Beans, Black beans, and Pinto Beans from the grocery. A 1/2 lb. of beans will plant a90' row here. I planted 2 rows of Pinto's, and that pound of beans yielded 18 lbs. of Pinto Beans. Not a bad return..!!

For other seeds Southern States stores Index | Southern States Co-op have good prices if you're fortunate to have astore near. They used to offer free shipping, with no minimum purchase, but they wuit doing that about 3 years ago. I have also bought seeds from Reimers Seeds Vegetables Some have done well, others have had less than perfect germination. The best bang for the buck I got for finding the Algarve French green beans was through Holmes Seed Holmes Seed Company Germination was outstanding,and being they are approx. 90 miles away, I received seed in 3 days. They do have quite avariety of others seeds in their catalog. I order online, but received a very nice free seed catalog this year, that is as thick as a small city phone book.
 

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Baker Creek is one of my favorite seed stores; MIGardener is the other. I get about 90% of my garden seed from the above mentioned two, with an occasional order from Johnny's, High Mowing, or Territorial Seeds.

In a pinch, I've been known to grab a packet of Burpee or Ferry Morse from the local feed store, but I prefer to buy the unique varieties I often find at the above seed suppliers.
 

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Picked these packs up at menards today. Paid about 50% of msrp. We have a 40 x 50 in the ground garden area. It’s Watered with 7.5 ph well water. Not the best water ph wise. I have a bag of sulphur to add sparingly. I am in no hurry for spring. Yet I will fully enjoy it when it comes.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Lookin good guys! --- We are in the process of trying to figure which company has the most of the varieties that we need----- not having much luck and we cant afford $6.00 shipping for 1 or 2 $3.00 packs of seed! lol! Will germ. test a few old "saved" seed next month to see if they still grow and go from there.
I wanted to start the tomato and cabbage plants myself this year so there is a better chance of getting actual varieties ---- ready started plants here last year were all mis-labeled and we ended up with a lot of not usable stuff. ---- never did figure what some of it was! LOL!!
 

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That's the great part of starting seeds in the coffee filter/ziplock bag. If the germ rate is dwindling, starting that way gives you a good seedling to start with, instead of empty cells in a tray. From that point on pretty well depends on proper care.

I'mfinally geting time to play with a smoker I bought myself for a birthday present 3 years ago. I've only smokeda couple things in it, up until this Fall. Finally got caught up enough around here to dedicate one day a week for smoking something in it. I'd stuffed some banana peppers last Fall, and stored in the freezer. Pulled some out, and let them thaw a day ahead of time, then popped in the smoker.They were fantastic..!! I did some smoked store bought sauerkraut last week, and it too was just pretty darn tasty. For a side for Thanksgiving, I smokedsome boiled eggs, and made smoked deviled eggs. Definitely a keeper..!! This weeks schedule is pretty busy, so smokedsome store bought, smoked bacon. That stuff is addicting. Next week, I plan to smoke some stuffed cabbage rolls, then finish out in some sauerkraut in the slow cooker. It's also fun experimenting with different ways to prep what we grow, instead of the same old, same old.

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I usually try one or two different varieties of tomatoes every year, just because. I always plant my old stand by Celebrities, as they are a great multipurpose tomato. Usually, about 20% of of what they produce are heart shaped, very meaty, with few seeds. Great for canning. Can't help but think somewhere back along the line, the Oxheart tomato was part of the mix.

So this year I'm thinking of trying the Red Oxheart heirloom. Not as large as the pink one's, but supposedly produce 1-2 lb fruits, and very prolific. Just wondering if anyone here raises them, or has raised them. Looking for some input, so as what to expect.
 

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I have never ordered from this place but it popped up on Facebook and I took a look at their site. Seems to be good prices and sounds like free shipping with orders over $45. Very large selections.


Great selection too.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
the oxhearts are kinda small in size but good tomatoes, we had both red and pink last year. pink were twice the size of reds. both yielded well for us here.
Virginia is on Baker Creek site right now.
 
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