The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
Jesus / my man / the three,
learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
pretending to garden /
write / design,
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It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.

Notes to self... Next year's garden

August 11, 2007 - 10:28 AM

This is more for me than you... I was thinking all this during my visit to the garden this AM and wanted to write it down before I forget and in a place where I will find it. Don't mean to bore you! Or if you have any additional thoughts, please let me know!

1.) Beans -
Bush crop beans, space to 3" instead of 2".
Use a 6 to 8" fence around edge of bean area to help them stand up better even though they are bush beans.
Use 2' between rows. And 4' between other plants.
Plant every two weeks as everyone suggests.
Be faithful with the bug spray and fertilizer.
When they come in, take them all. Be very diligent to take them all. Look very closely and take them all.
Blanch and freeze extras.
4 packets.

2.) Harvesting -
Always bring 1 or 2 grocery bags each visit to the garden.
Always do spraying of whatever on the same day every week.
Take when ready, just do it, use your shirt if you have to.
Take some spices home every day.

3.) Tomatoes -
Do plant 5 big plants initially in the beginning of the season.
Be faithful with the fertilizer, once a week.
Be faithful in the beginning and end to spray for blight.
At first sign of blight, take off infected leaves.
Plant cheap plants throughout garden 6 or so, after taking out spring crops.
Find bigger, stronger tomato cages. Make sure firmly in ground in case of wind storms.
Yes, use marigolds.
Yes, use straw but remember to fertilize.

4.) Peas -
Space 2" apart faithfully.
Plant every 2 weeks as suggested.
Water a lot in the beginning.
3 packets.

5.) Onions -
Ask gardener how to pick out a good seed from the onion sets.
Plant every 2 weeks.
Plant every 3" for scallions.
Plant A LOT and every where I can.
Harvest as soon as tops turn brown.
White and red worked best, try yellow if find good set.
May have to add more soil during season.
Plant early where you will add summer crops later.

6.) Broccoli -
Plant A LOT, 16 or more.
Yes, use maggot mats.
Try different varieties.
Plant in intervals if it works.
Give more room, 2' min. diameter.

7.) Cabbage -
Only plant 6 or so.
Use maggot mats.
Give A LOT of room, minimum 3 to 4'.

8.) Bedding & Layout -
Straw, can still use, BUT must be more diligent with fertilizer.
Wait to put down straw until after spring winds die down.
Use carpets for main walkway.
Raised beds are good.
No bedding in spice area or carrots.
Rent a tiller.
Till at 2 times, spring crop and then for summer crop.
Peat moss is good, use kind from Lowe's.
Fertilizer in potting soil is good, use Miracle Grow.
Don't use generic HyVee's peat or potting soil.
Plant veggies in front as well as back.
Double up fencing up to 2.5 feet.
DO plant all spring crops in front of garden all together. Plan to put tomato and melon and zucchini plants in that area.
Don't plant sunflowers, even though they are pretty, they give too much shade.

9.) Melons -
Put in beds where broccoli grew.
Give lots of room to grow.
Go for 2 plants.

10.) Zucchini -
Buy plants and use cutworm collars.
Make sure they are in full sun with no shading issues.
Fertilize! Bug protect!
Go for 4 plants and hope for the best.

11.) Eggplants -
Do exactly what you did this year.
4 plants is fine if you can give them away.

12.) Cucumbers -
Once they start making fruit, feed fertilizer.
Be faithful with blight warning.
Spray for bugs.
Pick when ripe.
Only 2 nee

Response to Notes to self... Next year's garden

  • Holly said on August 11, 2007 - 11:29 AM

    Nice! What great work in documenting all this! You'll have an even better garden next year!

  • Maren said on August 11, 2007 - 12:50 PM

    Thanks for taking the time to post this! It's good info for me...I'm printing it and saving it! A few questions: what kinds of sprays do you use for bugs and "blithe" (what is blithe?) and where do you get them? I've never had this...also, where do you get pete moss and what kind of fertilizer do you use? I think those are all my questions. Oh, and where do you buy that calcium stuff for the tomato plants? Love, Maren

  • Dana said on August 11, 2007 - 10:22 PM

    Blithe! Whoops! I spelled it wrong! "Blight" is how it is spelled. That is probably why it was confusing. My bad! (I think I spelled it right in earlier posts just not lately, yikes! You have probably heard of that one before? Basically it just makes your leaves have black spots. "Blight - Symptoms: Dark spots with concentric rings develop on older leaves first. The surrounding leaf area may turn yellow. Affected leaves may die prematurely, exposing the fruits to sun scald. Management: Early Blight fungus overwinters in plant residue and is soil-borne. It can also come in on transplants. Remove affected plants and thoroughly clean fall garden debris. Wet weather and stressed plants increase likelihood of attack. Copper and/or sulfur sprays can prevent further development of the fungus." In the early blight I used a "Combination Garden Dust." That worked really well in the beginning. For this late blight I used a "Fungicide" spray. I got our dusts and sprays at the local Earl May Nursery. They generally sell both an organic and regular formula. I just used regular since our is in a community garden that does not require everyone to be organic. (And you can't say something is organic unless everyone else around you is?) I bought the Earl May brands since they were less expensive in this stuff. The bug spray was called "Eight Insect Control" and is said to kill 100 kinds of bugs. I got it because it said "great for beans" on the sticker on it. For the Peat Moss, I bought this stuff from Lowe's in a big white 3.2 cu. ft. bag with green letters. I hope to find the same stuff next year. I worked way better than the generic stuff I picked up at HyVee. (That stuff didn't work into the soil as well.) Fertilizers I used were Miracle Grow Potting Soil when preparing the soil. Later, I used Miracle Grow's Tomato Plant Food Mix that you add to a water can. I used "Nutri-Cal" for calcium for the tomatoes. And I used "Liquid Fish Emulsion" and regular Miracle Grow Plant Food for fertilizers. Phew! I am glad I am writing this stuff down now, I will never remember this for next year otheriwise! Love to you too!

  • Leslie said on August 13, 2007 - 12:34 PM

    Whew! Thats a lot of info, good work... so does this mean you want to do it again? :)

  • Dana said on August 13, 2007 - 4:32 PM

    Oh yeah! Are you in?!! It wouldn't be the same without you!!!! AND HEY!! I want to hear about the tri this weekend!!

  • Amy said on August 15, 2007 - 8:00 AM

    Hey Dana, On your herbs, some of them are perennial... Sage - not sure but think it will come back so you may want to check before you till it up and have to plant more. Oregano - will definitely come back year after year - if you want in a different place, transplant in the fall or spring. Parsley - this is a plant that will come back one year - so if you want more next year, plant more, but this plant will come back next year as well. You will also be amazed at how long it will give you parsley through the winter. Lemon Balm - this will spread and grow year after year, don't buy any more :) What did you end up using it for? I grew some and didn't know what to do with it except smell it in the garden. I would rub it on my ankles for bug protection too. Chives will also come back year after year. You definitely are taking on a lot if you are planning to garden that much again, wow! Just a thought, you may want to consider growing the herbs at your house so you can get to them when you are ready to cook instead of having to go to your garden spot! I wish that I could take some of your tomatoes. The deer have eaten ALL of mine :( Congratulations on a great first garden. Amy

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