Garden Plans?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by kyheirloomer, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Have you started planning your gardens yet?

    I will be running the historic gardens at Fort Boonesborough again this year, and have just finished my paper plan.

    I’ve got the main garden divided into 23 demonstration plots. Counting companions and succession plantings there will be 32 plants in all. A fair percentage of them are actual 18- or early 19th century varieties. Considering that 80% of 18th century varieties are considered to be extinct, I’m rather pleased with the proportion of them I’ll be growing.

    The garden area consists of three large raised beds (5 x 40 feet), enclosed by a worm fence. There are 3 V patches formed on each of the long sides, by the fence, a rectangle at the back, and a straight fence at the front. I’m not growing anything on the front fence. The back rectangle will have upper ground sweet potato squash.

    On the left I’ll have Virginia Gourdseed Corn in all three Vs, with Cherokee Cornfield Beans growing up the corn. More than likely I’ll have gourds grow on the actual fence. The right will have Orinoco Tobacco in all three Vs, with Jimmy’s White Cucumber growing on the actual fence.

    Each of the raised beds is divided into 8 five-foot patches, some of which are adapted up- or down-wards to accommodate the specific plants. Here’s the complete list. Those in parenthesis are follow-up plants.

    Bed #1: Chives, Cosmic Purple Carrots interplanted with French Breakfast Radish, Catskill Brussels Sprouts, Turga Parsnips interplanted with Rat Tail Radish, Cardoon, Mahon Sweet Potatoes, seed turnips, Forellenschluss Lettuce (Cayenne).

    Bed #2: Fife Creek Okra, Large Red Tomato interplanted with Basil, Carolina Black Peanuts, Calabresse Broccoli, Windsor Broad Beans, Black Kale (Cylindra Beets), Spanish Onions (Whippoorwill Cowpeas).

    Bed #3: Bullnose Peppers, Yellow Crookneck Squash (Black Spanish Round Radish), Kennebec Potatoes (Amber Globe Turnips), Jacobs Cattle Beans, Late Flat Dutch Cabbage, Rosa Bianca Eggplant.

    In addition to the main garden I’ll be growing vining plants up the sidewalls of some of the cabins. This will include: Corsican Gourds, Sugar Pea, Scarlet Runner Beans, Snap Peas, and Clabbord Beans.

    Plus I’ll have the various herb beds (one large culinary and one large medicinal) and other plantings, such as dye plants by the spinning and weaving cabins.

    So, all in all, it’ll be a busy gardening season.
     
  2. gonefishin

    gonefishin

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       KYH, what your doing is so much more than planning a garden.  Your preserving history for all of us and I feel a name change is in order.  You need to change from KYHeirloomer to NorthAmericanHeirloomer or Zone6Heirloomer.

      Our local Park District is opening a Victory Garden, all organic.  I'll be getting one full lot which measures 10'x20'.  The entire area is fenced in, there will also be a compost bed for people to use(kinda interested to see how this ends up working out).  I haven't started planning how things will be laid out yet.  This is the first year I'll have an opportunity to plant a decent size garden that doesn't have severe problems, such as very little sun or extremely high ph levels in the soil.  

      Hopefully I can get some good ideas from others in this thread :)

      Dan
     
  3. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Thanks, Dan. A couple of comments, with the most important first:

    I have a photocopy of one of the original Victory Garden booklets distributed by the American Womens Vountary Service's Food for Victory Committee. Send me your snailmail privately and I'll be glad to send you a copy. Some interesting directions, garden layouts, and growing tips in there.

    10 x 20 is a fair sized piece. One could say its "only" 200 square feet. But the typical raised bed is only 4 x 10, or sometimes 4 x 12. So you're looking at the equivilent of at least four typical raised beds.

    If you get involved with intensive gardening (the most familiar of which, nowadays, is Mel Bartholemew's "Square Foot Gardening") you could feed half a county off of 200 square feet. One of the best intros to intensive gardening is "The Postage Stamp Garden Book," by Duane and Karen Newcomb.

    Even using more traditional row- and block-planting, however, you can produce an incredible amount in 200 square feet, particularly if you take advantage of the freehold above the ground (i.e., grow vertically), and plan succession crops. For example, hardy greens, or a lettuce/radish interplanting can go in as soon as the ground can be worked. None of those is heat tolerate, however. So, as they finish, you replace them with a summer crop, such as tomatoes or peppers. In some cases, you can put in three different crops in the same ground. For example, start with something cold hardy; say kale. Follow that with Six-Week Beans. By the time they're done, you can put in a fall crop, such as turnips or kohl rabi.

    Something else to consider: Partnering up with others, especially those with adjoining plots. This allows you to grow some stuff that is otherwise less than feasible, because it takes up too large a percentage of your space. But, in such a case, you grow X and they grow Y, and you share the production.

    @name change. I don't think so. My primary concern, as a collector and grower of heirlooms, is with Kentucky varieties, followed by those of Appalachia in general. The historic gardens at Boonesborough are based on colonial Virginia data, which naturally follows cuz Kentucky was originally part of Virginia.

    Even if a name change was in the offing, I would never consider anything like Zone6..... because I often make the point that there is nothing as useless to a vegetable gardener than knowing the zone. Zones (or, to be formal, the USDA Agricultural Hardiness Zones) only tell you whether a particular plant will winter over, unprotected, where you are. For instance, when I planted fig trees, I choose a variety that was hardy to Zone 6. But, being as 99% of vegetables are either annuals, or grown as such, the zone # doesn't tell you much. More important to vegetable gardeners are frost dates, because they tell you what you can grow, and when it should go in the ground.

    One example among many: If you grow tomatoes from seed, they should be started, indoors, 6-8 weeks before last frost. Obviously, you can't do that if you don't know when that frost will occur.

    Your preserving history for all of us

    Well, sure. But I'm just one of thosands of growers (and, more recently, stock raisers) who are doing so.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  4. gonefishin

    gonefishin

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       Thanks for all the information KYH!  I really like the idea of successive crops in the same area.  I certainly have to put some thought into this, but I also know I'll learn a little more each year that I garden.  I want to really try and become dependent on the garden, rather than the grocery store or markets.  I know this will take some time, but it's something to strive for.  For one reason or another I'm really looking forward to potatoes, yum!

    Thanks for the info and inspiration!

      Dan
     
  5. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    I'm inspired!  We went to the gardens at Mount Vernon, one of my favorite places to visit. 

    After having read this as well the thread about food waste, I'll try my hand at growing our own veg!
     
  6. deborah62

    deborah62

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    I'm so glad I found this thread. I am a horticulturist as well as a foodie/cook. I'm planning my garden for front yard. I don't use the front for anything so I might as well use it to grow heirloom veggies which I can then use in my cooking and recipe creation. I took a one-day course in permaculture and intend to apply what I learned there to my garden. I will also put in a herb spiral for both aesthetics and culinary use. I can hardly wait for the growing season. I live in Alberta so I have about 4 months to go yet, but at least I can start the planning and designing. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/licklips.gif
     
  7. gonefishin

    gonefishin

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        I can't wait to get more input, let us know how the plans go!

       Deborah, I don't know if you've ever grown basil, but it's a really nice looking plant that takes well to pruning and keeps a really nice shape.  Plus you can't beat going outside and snipping off some fresh basil, sniffffffffff.....yummm!

    Welcome to ChefTalk!

    Dan
     
  8. biggreeneggic

    biggreeneggic

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    I, too, am inspired! After a few failed veggie gardening attempts, I think I'll give my green thumb another try! I appreciate the excellent posts, KYH, thank you!
     
  9. dledmo

    dledmo

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    Excellent garden KYH!  We moved to a new house last summer and this will be the first spring in our new place.  One of the first things I want to do is take out the 2 small shade trees in the front lawn and replace them with apple trees.  Also am going to add raspberries the the back edge of backyard.  A peach tree would be nice also.  Probably do some container gardening to start, bell peppers and maybe tomatoes.  I want to build up my gardening a little each year and am excited to get started! 
     
  10. brandonknill

    brandonknill

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    This year I'm planning on doing: Zucchini, Fairytale pumpkin, garlic, onion, green beans, potatoes, and maybe peas. Though I think I'll have to expand my gardening patch this year :/
     
  11. neptune

    neptune

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    I'm posting this source for free organic compost here in the hope that  it helps someone:

    Our gardens get bigger every year, and she gets better at raising rabbits, but the #@** chickens don't give us enough colored eggs to justify the feed they gobble.

    Every time I start to talk about coq au vin, she changes the subject.

    ANYWAY, here in Orlando, the local landfills grind up all the tree limbs, leaves, and other yard waste and even supermarket produce that they collect weekly and grind it up with a big machine.

    Then they turn it into compost.

    When its ready, they dump it onto a big pile near the entrance, and anybody who wants it can come and get it for free!

    You can take  a bucketfull or as much as you can carry in a pickup truck.

    We have turned barren sand into productive gardens using this free organic stuff (plus a fair amount of rabbit poop).

    Orlando isn't the only place that does this, so check with your local waste disposal agency and see if they have it.

    If they DON'T, urge them to start!

    Here's ONE link: http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2011/05/05/waste-management-developing-local.html

    I recently planted some onions, and I think they should be ready for the stewpot before it gets too hot.....
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  12. wyandotte

    wyandotte

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    Do you have a fence to protect your upcoming garden?  I mean from human thieves; it happens sometimes. 
     
  13. paul alfred

    paul alfred

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    Wow, what you're planning for your garden (or the Fort's garden) is cool.  I wish I had that kind of space (and the time to take care of it) but I do not.  Instead, I'm planning on growing a few vegetables in my apartment.  It won't be anything grand and glorious, but it'll give me some neat vegetables to "play" with while cooking at home.  I'm planning on growing some Japanese Black Trifele Tomatoes and some Purple Dragon Carrots at least.  We'll see how much room I have to work with after that.
     
  14. mrs salt

    mrs salt

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    I live in Northern California and have successfully grown vegetables from seed like Anaheim peppers, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, green beans,  French radishes and basil. I've failed with my fennel bulbs since they bolted too early so I've got to clear those out soon.

    The problem I have is with Racoons which just love to frequent the Persimon tree in the middle of the garden and strip it bare during Autumn and my vegetables are planted around that tree. I've tried netting and fencing but these persistent family of critters just seem to knock or climb over anything. They're not even afraid of sensor lights and wind chimes (I've read somewhere its supposed to work); so I'm now hesitant to plant anything this Spring, all thats left are my rosemary and lavender bushes /img/vbsmilies/smilies/frown.gif.

    I'd love to hear how you guys get rid of critters of the 4-legged variety in your gardens...
     
  15. wyandotte

    wyandotte

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    Anybody else here grow leek from seed?  I have, twice, grown old varieties but this year I am going (God willing) to try a hybrid, Megaton.  Is anyone here familiar with this variety?
     
  16. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    Our overnight lows have been consistently in the 40’s,

    so I was in the garden center this morning and picked up some seeds to start an herb garden. 

    We have A LOT of wildlife in our area, so I’m going to attempt this in pots on the screened in porch. 

    One in the front of the house, south facing, and one in the back, north facing, and see how this goes. 
     
  17. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

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    Okay, so I just came back in from planting my dish garden out front.

    I opened up my bag of potting soil in the garage and it has these tiny gnats!

    Myself, not being a regular gardener, I need to know is this a bad thing?  Should I start over?
     
  18. pohaku

    pohaku

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    Well, tomorrow's high is supposed to be 15F with a low of 0F.  Actually quite a mild winter for us.  It will be awhile before the garden becomes a serious consideration.  Usually you can't put out tomatoes until the end of May here because of the risk of a killing frost.  We're hoping for an early and warm spring here because it's been a mild winter with little snow cover.
     
  19. thatchairlady

    thatchairlady

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    Kinda jealous of all of you who can have a garden.  I have a nice sized yard but last time I had veggies in the ground... the local critters figured it was their salad bar.  Groundhogs, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits... and God only knows what else!?!  They waited until tomatoes just started to turn before taking 1-2 bites out of them.  Green bush beans are about the easiest things to grow.  One day had teeny little beans about an inch long.  They grow so fast that I figured I'd be picking some by the end of the week even if just to eat raw on the spot.  Came home to find EVERY plant gnawed off to about an inch from the dirt!

    Tried container tomatoes for a few seasons on my deck... only one step off the grass.  One day found one of the BIG pots pulled off!  Then put pots up on some cheap stools I found at a yard sale... "something" still got to the tomatoes.  Last summer had several different pots of herbs in pots hanging from deck railing.  Was starting to get a health "crop" of cilantro and chives... GONE!!

    I gave up!  Now when tomatoes are REAL, I'll stop at a few family stands and just buy them!
     
  20. wyandotte

    wyandotte

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    Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your gardening woes.  I know - it's all happened to me, too.  I recently realized that I have to put more and more effort every year towards Security Against Animals.  It is endless. 

    Of course, if you are nice and rich, why, you just hire someone to build you a fabulous, impermeable-by-all-living beings Fence.  The kind of fence that goes 2 feet into the soil to resist animals who love to dig.  And then, just to make sure, you buy a spray motion detector

    If you aren't rich, though, you could place polyester row cover over your plants. It's a pain, though, and your garden looks ugly.

    Oh, well. Hope you'll try again.  Your heart is in the right place.