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I thought I'd get a thread opened for 2019. Hoping this year will be a little more favorable weather wise. I'm only needing to order a few seeds this year, to try a different medium sized paste tomato, that should ripen the same time as my Celebrities. The rest of my plants, I'll be buying from the Amish again, you just can't beat their prices..!! I saved some Leek, and Onion seeds, from plants that survived last years winter, so I re-set them for seed last Spring. Should be interesting to see how they do. Last year, a few days after setting my Leek, and Onion plants we had a down pour that wiped much of them out, beating them into the mud, covering them up. Out of approx. 75 Leeks, 7 survived. Onions were a total loss. I believe I'll go back to raised hill rows again for those. They did well like that in years before. Last year, I planted in flat rows, and was nearly a total disaster.

I'm also going to experiment with Biofumigation this year. I will be trying a Spring planting, and Fall planting. I'm not sure how well the Spring planting will do. It will depend on if we have a killing frost after sowing my cover crop.

I'll be planting two types of Mustard, brown & white. The brown mustard will help with reducing some plant diseases, bad nematodes, and should help reduce some pests such as wire, and cut worms. The white mustard is supposed to help with weed suppression.

I'm just hoping to get a dry spell the first of April to disk the garden up well enough to get it sown. It will then be mowed, and tilled in when it flowers, hopefully towards the end of May. Then wait 2 weeks before planting. I usually don't set plants until around Memorial Day, so it should work for here. Time will tell.

I'm pretty fortunate I have a seed dealer just a couple miles away, that I have known for years, and carries both of the types of Mustard I need. Enough seed to do my 8,000 sq. ft. garden twice is going to run me under $40, so it should be a fun learning experience.

I just found out about this approx. 6 weeks ago, and it now nearly has me consumed reading about it in my spare time. Tons of information out there on biofumigation, if anyone cares to read about it. Good reading fodder for these cold snowy days lately.

Thinking of planting some Marigolds intermixed, to cover the pheromones of vegetable plants, that attract pests. It is amazing the amount of information that is out there, by simply clicking a button. The amount of studies, and experiments performed by universities is seemingly endless. I've actually contacted a couple professor's on on a couple of the experiments, and was surprised how fast they responded. From their informative, and lengthy replies, they seemed more than happy someone found their experiments, while droll to some, interesting to others.
 

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Was thinking about starting the 2019 thread, but you beat me! lol!! We have been getting a few seeds here and there, and the onion plants,and sweet potato plants have been ordered and paid for. I want to do some germination testing on some of our saved seed. Good time to do this now. thanks; sonny
 

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I ain't growin' nuithin' but mud yet. That's doing quite well though. Extra slick this year.



Some day before October I hope the ground dries out enough to till and plant some rows of corn. Not sure what else to try as a row crop that doesn't need a lot tending.

Considering getting a single row seed planter available at some stores for $100 or less.
 

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It's been a busy winter and have neglected to toss my leaf compost pile even once.

Last year I did a 2' high 4x8 raised bed this year I'm adding a couple more and a hugelkultur mound.
 

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I plan to break new ground for a garden this year. First try at our new house last year proved to be too shaded. I have removed over a dozen trees since then, however. Just a "salad garden". No canning or anything. Onions, lettuce, cherry and heirloom tomatoes. I toss some native flower seeds in there to attract bees.

We have a lot of leaf munching critters running around, and despite the 100s of acres of forest surrounding us, they seem to prefer my 15'X30' garden. Outside of a 6' tall fence running 2' underground or an armed guard, are there any suggestions of things to plant to deter said critters?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've had pretty good luck with planting a hedgerow of Sunflowers around my 90' X 110' garden. I plant 14-15 rows of sunflowers in a 3' width, forming a hedgerow. I use two types, the short black oiler's, and the taller gray stripe. At least for Deer, the theory is, they will not jump over anything they cannot see the other side of. You just have to make a short, small maze type entrance to get in. I just use the seeds, used to feed birds. I buy the 5-6 lb bags at TSC, and there is enough to go around mine for 2 years. I used planters for my garden tractors to plant them, but, if you don't happen to have one, I always thought a push type broadcast spreader, with something out to the sides to keep it within the width you wish to contain it in, would work great, but have never tried it. Some heavier corrugated cardboard would probably work. Then lightly rake in the seeds.

If you happen to plant cucumbers, or any vining type plants, 2 years ago, I planted rows of Daikon Radishes on both sides of the row of cucumbers. The Daikon's will bloom before the cuke's, and the white butterflies that lay the vine borer eggs will be attracted to the radishes, laying their eggs there. My mistake was not making a second planting, when the first even started to mature beyond the blooming stage. Once the blooming waned off, the butterflies went to the cuke's, and vine borer's did their damage. It was well into the season with no damage to the cuke's up to that point, so I was satisfied the radishes were doing their job.

I'm also going to experiment with planting Marigolds around my tomatoes this year. I've been reading that they mask the pheromones given off by the tomatoes that attract, Hawk Moth's, who's eggs are horn worms. I found a place that sells the seed in bulk, that aren't too expensive. Luckily, I have plenty of parasitic wasps around due to having horses, and them working on flies due to manure. If you see multiple white eggs on the horn worm's back, those are the wasp eggs. Don't smash the horn worm, as in short time the horn worm is paralyzed. and when the eggs hatch, they will feed on it. I usually have a few volunteer tomato plants, so I'll set them outside the garden, and transfer the horn worms to those plants, to carry on the cycle. I usually don't find them until picking time, so I use a spring type clothespin to pluck them off. I've had a few juicy one's pop when I pull them off with my fingers, so to prevent that, use the clothes pin. I'll clip 2-3 on some of the stakes, so one isn't that far away, if I need one, or just clip one on my shirt pocket to keep it handy. I'll use a small plastic container to put them in, and transfer them later, after picking.

My biggest problem the last few years with tomato damage has been from Grasshoppers. Getting ready to study up on that some, and see what I can do to prevent that. They will eat a hole in a tomato approx. 3/8" in diameter, and about that deep. I have to believe that damage is much like a cracked tomato after a rain, and if not picked pretty quick, will cause the tomato to sour. And I donate a lot of tomatoes to food banks, so it pretty much renders them useless.
 

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Our plan is to be close to the same as 2018, if all goes well. The weather and time will dictate just what actually get's planted.Will have bout 4 acres.
 

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I can't grow anything. Too cold, too much snow, etc. Probably going to plant some tomatoes, carrots, beans, peas, stuff like that. The garden, though, is still nowhere near ready for planting yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Other than the cover crop I'll be experimenting with, nothing will go in until around Memorial Day. And that depends on if I get the cover crop in around the first of April. Much past that, I'll scrub the Spring cover crop, and go with it in the Fall.

We've had a killing frost here the 3rd week of May in the last 2, out of 4 years. I don't have to be first, I just want a crop, without replanting. Several years ago, a buddy of mine who sells at Farmer's Markets was making fun of me for waiting so long to plant. He had planted the first week of April, and his sweet corn was looking great. I planted my sweet corn at the beginning of the 3rd week, figuring it'd be 7-10 days, before coming up. His got killed by the frost, while mine emerged a couple days after that frost, and just kept going. He replanted, and was 3 weeks behind all summer.
 

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Other than the cover crop I'll be experimenting with, nothing will go in until around Memorial Day. And that depends on if I get the cover crop in around the first of April. Much past that, I'll scrub the Spring cover crop, and go with it in the Fall.

We've had a killing frost here the 3rd week of May in the last 2, out of 4 years. I don't have to be first, I just want a crop, without replanting. Several years ago, a buddy of mine who sells at Farmer's Markets was making fun of me for waiting so long to plant. He had planted the first week of April, and his sweet corn was looking great. I planted my sweet corn at the beginning of the 3rd week, figuring it'd be 7-10 days, before coming up. His got killed by the frost, while mine emerged a couple days after that frost, and just kept going. He replanted, and was 3 weeks behind all summer.
I've seen that happen time and time again, with myself taking the role of your friend! Waiting till the 2nd half of May in 2019 for most stuff. Ill get some leafy green seeds in a few weeks prior.
 

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His first year of getting into growing produce was one of those "once in maybe 10 year" years. I helped him plant 250 lbs. of potatoes on April 4th of that year, back in '07, or there abouts. An exceptional year with no late frost. So, that pretty well set the benchmark for him. Even though everywhere you look, it is well known the average frost date is May 15 for here. And for some reason cannot comprehend "average". It can be a week before, or a week after.He's had to learn the hard way, more than several times.

What now does amaze me, he has graduated to high tunnel growing, with no heat, only depending on the sun to provide any warmth, and has had some awesome Kale up until just last week, that survived nearly 0º weather we've had. And just finished up the last of the salad greens last week too. There was minimal damage to the more mature plants, but the younger more tender plants seem to have no damage at all. On the 30 something degree days we've had, it was 70º in the tunnel.

His biggest problem is getting people to buy his product priced at least 4X the price in the grocery, and he can't figure out why. I cannot emphasis enough to him, that that probably isn't going to happen in our local economy. We both belong to a marketing group on FB, and he see's other growers getting what I consider ridiculous prices, and expects the same here. He could probably get those prices, if he took his produce to the upscale markets in Columbus, but, that's too far for him. It is pretty entertaining though...
 

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I used to live in Columbus. 4X grocery store price was the norm at farmers' markets. Had to go about 2 counties away in any direction to buy meat or veggies not at a supermarket!
 

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Must be a failure of text based communication; I wasn't complaining.

Now to steer the post back toward gardening a bit...

My first attempt at gardening years ago: Too many plants, not enough dirt.
 

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Plants do need a lot of room, and that's one reason my rows are 5 to 6 feet apart. The potatoes will fill this space by mid summer. Tomatoes get 6 feet x 4 feet, and they also fill the rows solid. Too close and you can't pick them! I know not everyone can plant this way and smaller gardens require way different tactics to be successful . Thanks; sonny
 

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I had to thin my RB garden last year but it is amazing what you can grow in a small space when soil is super fertile.

I have always been an, in the ground, Gardner but raised beds have sold me.
 

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We may expand the garden this year, or just move some of the planting into an already fenced part of the yard. I finally sent out a sample of our soil and received a test report from UConn in December, and will be looking for a local source of 5-10-10 as Spring approaches. Limestone, the other recommendation, is easily found. We picked up some free seeds from the local library via URI. We will still purchase fresher seeds and some started plants closer to Memorial Day.

The cover crop greened up nicely but needs warmer weather to flourish before tilling. This is the last photo I took that direction (late December).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'll have to agree with leaving plenty of space between rows, especially tomatoes. This is mine last year with plants set in 5' wide rows. I had them caged, and T-posts set to do a Florida weave around the cages. I got them mulched with leaves before last Summer's monsoons hit. I figured I had a couple weeks before having to worry much about training the tomatoes, and keeping them inside the cages. They grew quicker than I had anticipated, and the lower limbs were just too big to get back in the cages. I manage to get the higher one's in after that, but they still got pretty bushy, and closed the rows in. I thought of trimming them back, but was afraid it may lead to some disease damage.

This year, I plan on 6' between rows. I'll not be planting sweet corn, so that will give me extra width, plus much more room to space out the pole beans, peas, mabe some cuke's, and pepper plants.
 

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I pulled hundreds of these tomato worms off last year. I have to take some preventative measure s this year
 

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It's still 3 months til planting here, w/12"+ snow on the ground,
but, the main task this year is to get the deer fence up.

Dan
 
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