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Our first garden in about 15 years, and the first one that I have taken a very active roll in. We learned the importance of planning out your rows on paper when the first planting of field peas had played out. Because we set out 2 partial rows of tomatoes side by side, then set out pepper plants right next to them in the 3rd we had filled the rest of the 3 rows with field peas. When DH went to plow them under, he realized how much easier it would have been if it was a full row instead of a partial row. So next year we will be planting full rows instead of partial row. We also planted 3 rows of green beans, all at the same time. The middle of the rows got almost drowned and never did recover. The ends did ok, but everything came off at once, and at a time I was still busy with kid's school activities, so we had to give some away because I didn't have time to put them up.
I have also been battling squash bugs all summer. I detest having to use poisons around my family's food, so I did some reading, and next year will try to go with the varieties that are more resistant to the bugs, like the scalloped summer squash instead of the standard straight neck we see everywhere around here.

Also, DH would go and plant the seeds but not save the packages for me. Now we are having a daily argument over the 3 pumpkins DD's patch has produced. They are a beautiful orangy gold and he thinks they are ready. He is mad at me because I won't let him pick them because they dent easily and the stem is still soft and green. We have no idea what variety they are. We also have no idea what variety of green beans are currently producing, and I like them(very productive). So next year all the packages get saved in a pouch in my gardening notebook I have started to create.

Anyone else learn anything this year they can share with the group??
 

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You can visit industrial supply-stores for wooden steaks to stick into the ground near the rows of your vegitables and mark the stick with the UPC code from the package of seeds.

When you purchase your seeds, make sure that you purchase 2 or 3 years supply of seeds so that the UPC code doesn't really change and it gives you a chance to look back on the package for any information that you might have missed the first round. Some companies also put a web-address onto their packages that will allow you to go onto their site for hints and tricks to growing your garden.
 

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The main thing I learned is not to plant short plants(peppers) next to tomato plants. What I found is the tomato plants simply shaded the peppers too much and they didn't grow very much, just about a foot tall is all. They simply did not get enough light.
I also found out that in our climate (hot, very dry, LOTS of sun), do not plant peas and green beans close to the fence. The peas and beans seemed to dry up no matter how much water I used(irrigation hooked to sprinkler system timer and sprinkler heads). The only thing I can deduce is the heat was reflecting off the wooden fence so it was cooking the plants.
 

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Even after having organic gardens for years now, my tomatoes in the greenhouse are blooming generously but not setting much fruit:help:. I've been trying just about everything, a calcium citrate spray, a blooming stimulant, correct fertilization, even trying a web based practice using human urine. I even used a small water color paint brush, collecting pollen and brushing flowers like a artificial bee, I felt a little dirty afterwards and wanted to smoke a cigarette.:D The bell peppers,basil, and cilantro are doing fine in there. I haven't tried the hormone based bloom set yet, trying to find local source. Any ideas...:2thumb:
 

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I am a little teapot
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We are WAY new to gardening. We tried using landscape fabric instead of just using natural mulch. One of our neighbors (the guy who got robbed recently) puts out a big garden every year and has us chop his field with our forage chopper to make his mulch. We will be using the same natural mulch ourselves next year. Just basically shredded hay.
 

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Newspaper makes a good mulch as well. Not the slick inserts just the plain paper. Put it down 3-4 layers thick. The water seeps through put light can't. I used it when the garden was smaller, but now I use hay or straw since we always have some laying around.
 

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Also, DH would go and plant the seeds but not save the packages for me. Now we are having a daily argument over the 3 pumpkins DD's patch has produced. They are a beautiful orangy gold and he thinks they are ready. He is mad at me because I won't let him pick them because they dent easily and the stem is still soft and green. We have no idea what variety they are. We also have no idea what variety of green beans are currently producing, and I like them(very productive). So next year all the packages get saved in a pouch in my gardening notebook I have started to create.

Anyone else learn anything this year they can share with the group??
we use old mini-blinds to mark all our garden stuff. just cut the slats off of the strings and break them in half. then you just use a black sharpie to write on them what you have planted in each row. have to put up some pics of our garden here in town. still gittin' tomatoes out of it and finally done with the sweet peppers, our hot peppers are still going strong....we planted themin an area just off our driveway on the south-side of the house. we also planted diffrent herbs (lemon thyme, oregano, lavender, thai basil and sweet basil, white sage and pineapple sage) even though i aint in the best of shape, we make the best out of the space and knowledge learned from parents and grand parents.......no better teachers than those who you look up to.:beercheer:
 

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we use old mini-blinds to mark all our garden stuff
Very good, durable idea! Thanks!:2thumb:

Another great thing for your garden in the winter is coffee grounds. If you have a Starbucks coffee place in your area, they give away thier grounds in large bags for free, sprinkle freely on garden in fall after harvest, worms love the stuff and your garden will thank you.

I even used a small water color paint brush, collecting pollen and brushing flowers like a artificial bee, I felt a little dirty afterwards and wanted to smoke a cigarette
Oh My!.....I have been known to take one tomato plant and rub it all over another, quicker than the paint brush method....I try to keep my eyes closed for their sake tho.....
 

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What I learned is:
1) that no matter how well you plan, nature can throw that planning right out the window.
2) broccoli has incredibly small seeds when you are trying to harvest them.
3) Don't put all your veggies in one basket. :(
 

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Our first garden in about 15 years, and the first one that I have taken a very active roll in. We learned the importance of planning out your rows on paper when the first planting of field peas had played out. Because we set out 2 partial rows of tomatoes side by side, then set out pepper plants right next to them in the 3rd we had filled the rest of the 3 rows with field peas. When DH went to plow them under, he realized how much easier it would have been if it was a full row instead of a partial row. So next year we will be planting full rows instead of partial row. We also planted 3 rows of green beans, all at the same time. The middle of the rows got almost drowned and never did recover. The ends did ok, but everything came off at once, and at a time I was still busy with kid's school activities, so we had to give some away because I didn't have time to put them up.
I have also been battling squash bugs all summer. I detest having to use poisons around my family's food, so I did some reading, and next year will try to go with the varieties that are more resistant to the bugs, like the scalloped summer squash instead of the standard straight neck we see everywhere around here.

Also, DH would go and plant the seeds but not save the packages for me. Now we are having a daily argument over the 3 pumpkins DD's patch has produced. They are a beautiful orangy gold and he thinks they are ready. He is mad at me because I won't let him pick them because they dent easily and the stem is still soft and green. We have no idea what variety they are. We also have no idea what variety of green beans are currently producing, and I like them(very productive). So next year all the packages get saved in a pouch in my gardening notebook I have started to create.

Anyone else learn anything this year they can share with the group??
With respect to the squash bugs, I kept a large plastic pail cover that happened to be bright yellow in color, screwed this to a wooden stake, set in ground and coated with liberal amounts of petroleum jelly. The bugs, all sorts are attracted to the yellow color, same as the squash flowers, and become stuck. Very affective and basically non-toxic, I use this every year over and over again.
I save the seeds every year from my garden, just remember only Heirloom seed types will hold true from season to season. Seeds from hybrids will usually come up, but you will not know which parent its from.
 

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With respect to the squash bugs, I kept a large plastic pail cover that happened to be bright yellow in color, screwed this to a wooden stake, set in ground and coated with liberal amounts of petroleum jelly. The bugs, all sorts are attracted to the yellow color, same as the squash flowers, and become stuck. Very affective and basically non-toxic, I use this every year over and over again.
I save the seeds every year from my garden, just remember only Heirloom seed types will hold true from season to season. Seeds from hybrids will usually come up, but you will not know which parent its from.
Cool idea with the bucket lid!
 

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This is so funny.It good to have such a sense of humor as it in itself will help you through the hard times!!!:laugh:
Very good, durable idea! Thanks!:2thumb:

Another great thing for your garden in the winter is coffee grounds. If you have a Starbucks coffee place in your area, they give away thier grounds in large bags for free, sprinkle freely on garden in fall after harvest, worms love the stuff and your garden will thank you.

Oh My!.....I have been known to take one tomato plant and rub it all over another, quicker than the paint brush method....I try to keep my eyes closed for their sake tho.....
 

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Even after having organic gardens for years now, my tomatoes in the greenhouse are blooming generously but not setting much fruit:help:. I've been trying just about everything, a calcium citrate spray, a blooming stimulant, correct fertilization, even trying a web based practice using human urine. I even used a small water color paint brush, collecting pollen and brushing flowers like a artificial bee, I felt a little dirty afterwards and wanted to smoke a cigarette.:D The bell peppers,basil, and cilantro are doing fine in there. I haven't tried the hormone based bloom set yet, trying to find local source. Any ideas...:2thumb:
buy a Bee hive. be careful they dont get deseases.
 

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Since I draw my garden/planting plan to scale I just write on the plan what varieties of each are planted where. Gave up on the row markers looong ago cause they have a tendancy to disappear halfway through the growing season! I save my paper plans from year to year as an aid to rotating the plants in the different beds/rows.
 

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Last year when i planted my tomatos I dug a hole like I normally do, but filled it back in with some bagged cow manure. The plants were the best looking I have ever had. However they set almost no fruit. From what I found out, I gave them too much nitrogen fertilize.

Not sure if that is what happened to yours but it sounds familiar.
 

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I learned to make compost from my great grandmother. If it cld break down, it went in the hopper. Egg shells, newspaper, food scraps, coffee grounds and filter, etc. She had flowers that wld knock your socks off!
 

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With respect to the squash bugs, I kept a large plastic pail cover that happened to be bright yellow in color, screwed this to a wooden stake, set in ground and coated with liberal amounts of petroleum jelly. The bugs, all sorts are attracted to the yellow color, same as the squash flowers, and become stuck. Very affective and basically non-toxic, I use this every year over and over again.
I save the seeds every year from my garden, just remember only Heirloom seed types will hold true from season to season. Seeds from hybrids will usually come up, but you will not know which parent its from.
Great idea for squash bugs, I go through at least once a day with a small pail of soapy water and pick the eggs off the leaves and drop them in the pail. I also catch any grown ones and do the same with them, they don't swim very well and the chickens don't mind if they are a little soggy.
I also do the same with Japaneese beetles.

I am now on the lookout for a bright yellow plastic pail. Thanks
Rocky
 
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