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This year I am thinking about making single mounds for each major plant. Beans and peas would still be planted in rows. However, stuff like squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant... I am thinking about tilling up a 24 inch across circle, then filling it with manure, ash, bonemeal... etc.

Picture walking the tiller around in a circle, maybe 24 - 36 inches across. Putting some manure in, ash, fishmeal, bonemeal.. then tilling everything in. Wait a few weeks then plant the plants. Maybe mix in some 13-13-13 when things are planted.

Rather than fertilizer being in a line, as in a row, it will be in a circle. So regardless of which way the roots grow they will get fertilizer.

Plant peppers one long step, and stuff like squash two long steps apart.

Maybe even plant some beans like that and see what happens?

Thoughts, suggestions?

So what are your plans for the 2020 garden?
 

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Add another 8'x4' bed, for a total of 5.
Make a keyhole garden in my front yard.
Plant the bed right at the front of my house with Jerusalem Artichokes, it will be an annual source of tubers.
Add another fruit tree to the back yard, possibly pears?
More berry bushes at the front of the house.
Add 3 or 4 smaller ducks to my fenced off garden area. My 1' tall beds are too tall for smaller ducks to crawl into, and they'll eat the slugs out of my garden area, makes 'em nice and fat come fall-time!
 

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In Virginia here.

We planted a 25'x50' garden last year, maybe 50' from an adjacent stream. NEVER ONCE HAD TO WATER THE GARDEN... Do have rain barrels just in case. Soil was moist but not damp, drained well during torrential rains and had at least 8-10 hours of sunlight before the evening and then was shaded til sunset. Used an electric fence to keep animals out. Birds were my biggest problems early on while the plants were coming up. This year will put netting or plastic over the seeds until they are big enough to deter birds from messing with them.

I never had so much veggies in my life. I (and this may be gross to some, don't tell my wife) would pee on my compost pile and spread it onto the garden late winter a few weeks prior to planting. I would till the soil at least 5 times (3x long ways and 2x perpendicular, alternating, with at least one day in between). Never had to use store bought fertilizer.

We had LOTS of Tomatoes, Cukes (pickling, English, regular), Bell Peppers, Green Beans, Lima Beans, Squash (both zucchini and Butternut kind), Collard Greens, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens, Onions, Chili Peppers and Sunflowers. We gave so much away from when we maxed out on our own canning for storage and regular consumption. I don't believe we bought a single produce from the store from Late May into Mid-September.

If this is your first time planting the garden where you are at, I would recommend planting different kinds of veggies that you will eat. Don't do too much too soon otherwise you WILL get overwhelmed.

Look over the almanac for your area. Then learn what grows well and what doesn't baed upon your own soil. Keep a Gardening Log.

If you have honey bees nearby (within a mile) all the better...otherwise consider beekeeping as a new hobby.

LInk to almanac, put in your zipcode: https://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-calendar
 

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I don't know what you have for a tiller, but tilling in small circles would be a bit of a trick. Especially with my mammoth tiller, I have a ten horse hydraulic commercial tiller weighing in at around 650 to 700 pounds or so.

You might find it easier to till a straight line and then hand till the fertilizer and whatnot into your circles.

Last year I raised all of my garden up as I was getting too much moisture from a small leak in my dam. That allowed the water to stand in the ditches between my planter boxes and with the tops of the beds 14 inches above the standing water level in the ditches I had an awesome garden. I am still using the squash/ zucchini and pumpkin from last years garden. I just picked up a hog a couple weeks ago and I have been feeding all the squash and whatnot that was starting to turn a bit.

I have been collecting all of my seed from the squash, zucchini and pumpkins and this next year I want to try and grow them under my pine and fir trees in my southern forest.
 

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I moved to a different state so I have been researching planting times etc. getting ready for bare root trees. I don’t want to do to much to soon. It took me 3 years to get my garden right at the last place so I have a TON of experimental seeds for this year.
Being on a steep hillside will be a challenge but I’ve got 5 compost bins full of “stuff” (that won’t rot because it’s to cold) who knew? How the heck do you get produce to rot in cold climates? I’ve actually got potatoes and celery growing in the bins. Never seen anything like it.
It’s going to be an adventure in drainage, erosion etc., etc. I don’t think I will get tired of this house for a very, very long time.
 

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I moved to a different state so I have been researching planting times etc. getting ready for bare root trees. I don’t want to do to much to soon. It took me 3 years to get my garden right at the last place so I have a TON of experimental seeds for this year.
Being on a steep hillside will be a challenge but I’ve got 5 compost bins full of “stuff” (that won’t rot because it’s to cold) who knew? How the heck do you get produce to rot in cold climates? I’ve actually got potatoes and celery growing in the bins. Never seen anything like it.
It’s going to be an adventure in drainage, erosion etc., etc. I don’t think I will get tired of this house for a very, very long time.
You could throw in some hay into the compost and wet it down, the top layer of hay will freeze but it will keep it warm enough inside to rot. Heck I know a couple people that use rotting hay as a source of heat up here in north Idaho. Concrete pad plumbed with water circulating tubes and 20 -30 tons of rotting hay on the pads. In fact one of them originally had pvc pipe direct burial in the rotting hay and so much heat was produced it melted the pipes down flat. Hay is great for composting and acts as a good insulator from the cold.

As for planting on a slope that will be a bit of a challenge. I terraced the front hill at my last farm so that all runoff would run back and forth from side to side in the terraces and water my garden better from the natural rainwater. Terraces are some work but with a decent tiller it isn't too bad.
 

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This year I'm adding Jerusalem artichokes but I haven't figured out yet where to put them. Probably in several spots around the place.

There are a few more things I want to try in the never ending battle with root knot nematodes.

I will be stretching out starting and then planting out intervals for some things like cabbage, broccoli, carrots, turnips and scallions to eliminate having too much ready at once. The fall planting was better than last spring but I'm stretching it out some more for this spring. Stuff I can up like beans, etc will still get ready all at once for canning convenience.

Field peas will go on trellises this year. After a small experiment last year, I think I can get as many peas from three 18' trellises as I can get from four 18' regular planted rows. And they'll be easier to see and pick.

Kev, if you have a good broadfork, it would be a lot easier to loosen the soil for your planting holes with that than using the tiller. And you'll loosen it deeper too. :thumb:
 

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this years plan is to try and get 3/4 s of the acre of garden growing crops if I get real lucky and we get a early spring I might try getting the whole acre planted,, if not I will compost and work what ever I don't get planted over the summer ,,if its all in crops I will enrich the area I intend to plant my asparagus plants [from my own seeds]I planted last fall in propagation beds
 

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Add another 8'x4' bed, for a total of 5.
Make a keyhole garden in my front yard.
Plant the bed right at the front of my house with Jerusalem Artichokes, it will be an annual source of tubers.
Add another fruit tree to the back yard, possibly pears?
More berry bushes at the front of the house.
Add 3 or 4 smaller ducks to my fenced off garden area. My 1' tall beds are too tall for smaller ducks to crawl into, and they'll eat the slugs out of my garden area, makes 'em nice and fat come fall-time!
I tried letting my ducks have access to the vegetable gardens because I always read they would eat insects but won't eat plants.:rolleyes: Oh yes they will! My butternut squash vines were being stripped of leaves. The petioles were left, the vines were left, but the leaves were vanishing completely. I thought there was some weird kind of insect eating the leaves and I looked and looked but never found any. The plants were literally just bare vines. It was the ducks. Caught them when I let them out of their pen one morning and they made a bee line for what was left of the squash vines. They started tugging the leaves and tore off big shreds and ate them down to the stem.

Anyway, my garden plans for this year are just the same as always. I didn't garden last year as I had some other projects I wanted to devote my time to. This year's summer garden I plan to plant tomatoes, peppers, butternut squash, sweet potatoes (Jewell or Centennial and the white variety Bonita which I haven't grown before), Roma and Blue Lake bush beans, crowder and Lady peas, cantaloupe, green onions, and maybe a couple other things like herbs.

For the winter/early spring garden I am getting ready to set out two different kinds of kale, a 70 day small cabbage, carrots, and a couple kinds of broccoli. Tried the sprouting broccoli a few years back and liked it. It's a bit strong but not bad when mixed with other vegetables. Also planted strawberries which I've had to pick a few blooms off so they don't bloom too early--Allstar, Cardinal and ??

Will also be adding a few more fruit trees. I have them in large containers right now, and am going to wait until our last freeze before planting them out. They are making good root growth in their containers.
 

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I have been running the poultry on the new 15 x 50 foot patch I am adding into production inside a fenced 50 x 60 garden to prepare it for use this year . I have started filling half barrels at the row ends where I haul the garden hose so when I pull a hose around it will not get pulled over crops at the row ends but have to pull around the heavy half barrel . I have established garden, orchards , greenhouse and vineyard over the last 4 years but had a windfall of more jostberry, elderberry, evergreen huckleberry, strawberries , 15 more blueberry bushes , herbs , hosta to plant this spring and still more garlic, daffodils and crocus to plant . I have leeks started in the house but forecast is for more snow . I plan to grow a bit more this year and erect more greenhouse and coldframes for season extension . One greenhouse will have tomatoes spaced out and sweet potato planted between as a ground cover to see if I get them to produce in Canada . I need to relocate asparagus to a new designated bed since I am adding more greenhouse to the space where they are . May be adding more oriental kiwi and a few grape varieties . Move where I grow pumpkins to along as swale out in a orchard to make more room in the garden . And dig out volunteer raspberry and establish a naturalized patch by the forest edge . I definitely want a patch of dill, something I have not accomplished previous years. The list goes on...
 

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I am reaching the end of my room for freeze dried garden produce, so I'm going to start slowing down my gardening. I feel better about the way things are going in Washington now so feel less pressure to keep up maximum effort like I did for the last president.

So this year I'm going to fallow half my garden. The plantain weed is getting pretty bad, so I'm going to have a campaign to wipe out as much of the seed in the soil as I can. I realize it is supposed to be very good food itself, but I'm sure it will always be hanging on in my garden. Maybe I'll experiment with freeze drying some of it, but it really doesn't make much sense to waste storage space for something that grows so prolifically in my garden each year.

Growing in mounds is a technique used by giant pumpkin gamers. They make a bit bigger mounds, till in huge amounts of manure etc. and plant just one plant per hill.

I try to till up circles when I plant trees or shrubs. Hard to get the tiller to turn tight so I end up tilling lots of cris crossing straight lines. Maybe the tiller would turn better if I raised the drag tine in back.

I would suggest you start experimenting with gardening without commercial fertilizer. I till in gobs of grass clippings and leaves and apply a couple of treatments of urine each year, and my soil tests out good consistantly. A better test in my mind is that the worms love my dirt even though I am constantly tilling it. Anything I plant that is adapted to our climate does well.

Different soil types need different treatments.Here the native soil is baisic, and adding leaves has turned it to neutral or slightly acid which is a bit better for gardens. If my dirt was normally acid I would want to hold off on turning in leaves and would be adding some wood ash.
 

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Dug a BUNCH nice, thorny blackberry plants from the berry patch of a lady who didn't want them anymore. (she had three rows of blackberry plants, mostly thornless, and had planted 6 thorny plants at the end of the middle row.) After digging them up, those 6 plants were more like 30, given all the suckers. I'm going to plant them along the fence around the orchard.
 

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No more tomatoes, cucumbers, being by myself 1 tomato or cucumber plant will make more than I can eat and it's too easy to just buy local. This years garden is only going to be sweet potatoes, sweet onions, and bell peppers, green ,red, and yellow.
With the onions and peppers I pick em as they ripe, dice them up and freeze them then all year I add a handful to what ever it is I'm cooking.
The sweet potatoes will store for over a year in the basement.
I also plan to build a drip irrigation system to ease the morning chores.
 

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I just finished collecting the last of my squash, zucchini and pumpkin seeds from last years harvest. I now have just a shade under five pounds of cleaned seed ready for next year. I will never be able to plant that much that would probably cover half my 40 acres, but it will give me a good stockpile of seed.

I used up the last of the fruit to help fatten this hog up, turns out hogs quite enjoy squash, zucchini and pumpkin.
 

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A marathon not a sprint
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Ice Fire, in our climate, controlling blackberry is a never ending endeavour. You might consider a perimeter strip you can run hotwire off for goats to do some management for you ?

I have some irrigation rolls and had grand ideas of implementing drip irrigation to limit hours spent watering . Last year I never had to water at all but weather is all over the place from one year to the next it seems . I need fire suppression lines and sprinklers on my house and irrigation in the garden in dry years . Right now our valley is literally cut off by floods and landslide and snow in the forecast so it is hard to foresee what will transpire ahead but once set up I would be happy to eliminate hours watering so I could spend those hours weeding and hoeing :)
 

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No more tomatoes, cucumbers, being by myself 1 tomato or cucumber plant will make more than I can eat and it's too easy to just buy local.
I've always gardened, even when I lived in Ariz. and Alaska just because I LOVE fresh tomatos, and the things they sell in the store may look like maters but they sure don't taste like an Abe Lincoln or a purple prudens right from the garden.
 

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I just finished collecting the last of my squash, zucchini and pumpkin seeds from last years harvest. I now have just a shade under five pounds of cleaned seed ready for next year. I will never be able to plant that much that would probably cover half my 40 acres, but it will give me a good stockpile of seed.

I used up the last of the fruit to help fatten this hog up, turns out hogs quite enjoy squash, zucchini and pumpkin.
and the seeds also make a good shorter term food supply ,,if you like pumpkin seeds all the squash summer and winter the seeds are about equal in calories and they all "salt" about the same so far I have not been able to tell the taste of them apart



oh and thanks for the tip about using root crops to grow your winter greens ,,,why it never struck me before is beyond me ,,lol I feed the greens and roots as supplement to my rabbits who get mostly hay with a bit of corn to keep them a bit tamer[free run in a larger fenced area]
 

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Did you do anything special on the terraces to keep the water in place like French drains or???
I’ve been watching U-tube until I’m practically catatonic and still haven’t found any information that makes me feel like I’m ready to get started on a “practical & functional” project.
 

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I am planning to include some small terracing in my vegetable garden beds this year, due to the slope I have. It's not steep, but the soil does tend to migrate in that direction over time.

I personally don't plan to include any provisions for draining, my soil drains fairly well on it's own.
 
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