Vegetable Gardens

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Tomatoes 66 Replies

Started by Jennifer Simpson z5OH. Last reply by Don Reeves z7, TN yesterday.

Late LATE season harvest 5 Replies

Started by Jeff Mais. Last reply by Lorraine Smith Pacific NW Oct 9.

understanding and getting the most from seed pack info 2 Replies

Started by Karen. Last reply by Karen May 6.

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Comment by Deborah Hamel (Z9a-9b Arizona) on January 28, 2011 at 7:53pm
I was most disappointed to discover that our local food bank, shelters and halfway houses accepting public money, or serving the public, are not able to accept locally grown foods of any kind as a donation, not and feed it to the people they serve. So, I and my gardening friends raise food for ourselves, sharing idea, results of experiments, seeds and sometimes plants and harvest. What a waste! There are many of us who would gladly raise farm fresh vegetables to help out a little, or a lot.
Comment by Robert E Brown--z7b8aNC on January 28, 2011 at 3:57pm
I really don't know what else to say about blueberries, Miko.  Most of the advice I have gotten has been given in here already.  Mine are established and I don't do much more than pick them when they are ripe.  I will give them some water if it gets to dry.  Other than that, I guess I just have the right spot for them.
Comment by Lyn - Sydney on January 28, 2011 at 3:07pm

Karen - your idea of Garden Tours, sounds like our Open Garden scheme here in Aus.  You pay a nominal fee to look through a garden which can be large or small and the money raised goes to a specific charity.  I guess there are similar schemes in your big country anyway.  We have learned so much from visiting various gardens - everything from different methods of composting, growing natives and so forth.  The next big one we are going to is in February in Canberra (approx 260 kms away) where there is a whole morning of learning the rights and wrongs of keeping backyard chickens or chooks as we refer to them here.  The day is aptly named ''Chooks in the City'''and is to try and encourage more people to take up having their own chickens in suburban backyards.  Yet another step towards being partly self sufficient! 

I have only just started my veg patch within the past 6 months, but already have given away so much excess produce, tomatoes, chillis, passionfruit, in fact I took a huge box to my local gym yesterday and the lady were very pleased to be able to all help themselves to the free produce.

Karen - I wish you well with your group, it sounds fantastic and very interesting! Also I have googled the book  Food Heroes that you mentioned and intend to order it, it certainly looks a great read.

Comment by Karen Clark z7b Pacific NW on January 28, 2011 at 10:54am
I plan to grow enough to share with our local mission and food bank. After reading the book, "Food Heros", fourof us are also planning to organize our community based on being food artisans of sorts growing our own food and making as much of our own food as possible.  Our first project is making our own bacon with plans to progress on to cheese, canning etc.  Also plans to  have garden tours of vegetable gardens, chicken coops, goats with  cheese etc.  We hope to inspire our own local movement to return to basics of good living.  We might become a destination point providing a place to find the best quality of food possible teaching each other and others who are interested to make the most of living life on our own terms.  We had our first meeting yesterday.
Comment by Minako Sargent Fukuda on January 28, 2011 at 10:18am
robert please I need all the info from your yrs of experience of groeing berries, hubby not well needs all the antioxidants he can have, trial and erroer are not in it, yes I agree with you I feed other critters too, my 2 racingpidgeons are wasteful so the native one get there spoils and doing well , even my compost bin is being occupied guess what mice, I watered the compost and one very fat one sciddaddled and the baby mouse got drenched looking very sorry for itself and dissappeared quickly , I dont mind but they live well on  whatever I put in , please give me feedback on berries, what other trees are you growing or are knowledgeable ? thanks Miko
Comment by diana Z9 Houston, Texas on January 28, 2011 at 7:18am
Hey Gardeners, this year 2011 it is going to be expensive for all kinds of fruits and vegetables.  A lot of cold weather and millions of people to feed.  I am glad I am a home gardener and can have the luxury of going outside and picking my fruit and either canning or eating it off the bush/vine/tree.  We should be proud of ourselves helping each other out no matter where you live to produce the best crops.  Please pat yourselves on the back.
Comment by Lyn - Sydney on January 28, 2011 at 4:32am

Lila - Yes both Aus and New Zealand have huge wine industries. Provides lots of work for backpackers coming here on working hols too.

I think we export to over 100 countries now (UK being one of the biggest importers of our wines)  You will also find our wine in your country - we saw it everywhere when we were over there in 2005. No matter which state you visithere,  there is always a wine growing area to stop off in and grab a few bottles as gifts. I envy the italian migrants here who still brew their own wine at home, some of it almost knocks your socks off, but I guess it is what they are used to.

I can't wait to get a grape vine going just so that I can sit underneath it in filtered sunlight and pluck the grapes off - well at least before the birds get to them anyway!

My Hungarian Wax Peppers are doubling in size each day - the supermarket is now asking $10 kg (approx $4.50 per pound) so I am glad I managed to grow them, especially as the floods throughout Aus will cause massive shortages of veg and fruit.

Happy gardening all.


Comment by diana Z9 Houston, Texas on January 27, 2011 at 9:35pm

Lyn, I think I have seen 3 silkies stand on each others back for food.  heeee. I do not spray anything on my veggies and I put compose on them when they are growing.  It usually takes 8 months for my compose pile to turn the dark rich dirt that my garden needs.  Can't wait to eat them.

Robert, I have 2 peach trees, one of which is a Sam Houston (low cold chill hrs.) and bloomed and produced last year.  Its about 6 yrs old.  My horse likes to nibble and rub on it and broke a few branches. 

Charlie, our well is at 250 and when I water my hydrangea, they turn blue so I am sure its acidic.

Connie, I guess in Denton you probably get some real cold weather.  I would use pvc with some cloth to protect them during those cold nights/days.  I have not had to cover anything 2010 or yet.  Do you have a lot of stones/rocks to remove? 

Comment by Lyn - Sydney on January 27, 2011 at 9:07pm

Hi again Robert - yes I did have one small bush of them last season, which grandson cleaned out of blueberries.  I was just so shocked when the thing finished fruiting and then promptly died on me!! That's gratitude for you.... Our blueberries work out $20+ per kilo (2.2lbs), the punnets only have 250gms in them, enough for one person!

I currently have a Cranberry plant growing in front garden too, it is struggling and I am keeping it wet according to instructions, but not sure how I will go. I am a huge fan of Cranberries - again something that we can only get dried (as craisins) or just lately over christmas - frozen, so when I saw them I almost bought out the freezer section, as I think they were only a special for Christmas (to go with the turkey!) and have never seen them stocked before.

Perhaps our climate is just not right for them - they are imported from USA anyway.  I like to use the dried ones in macadamia and burnt butter cookies!!

Now peaches - we finally got our peach tree (2 types grafted onto one) this past season, going well, plenty of greenery and then suddenly 3 peaches.  Ah - me thinks one each for the family at home!!  Went to pick them and discovered the chickens had stretched up and eaten the inside of 2 of them and left just shells resembling a bell!!  Husband ate the solitary peach and said it was delicious!!

Next season perhaps.  Good Luck with your peach growing.  All my fruit trees are planted inside the chicken run as I saw a gardening program where they said the chicken manure and scratching etc is good for the fruit trees, and to plant them all inside their run.  So we have apples, limes, peaches, olives, lemons and a kaffir lime tree all coming along well.  Peach tree is now too high for the little silkies to reach unless they stand on each others backs!!

Comment by Robert E Brown--z7b8aNC on January 27, 2011 at 2:52pm
Blueberries are expensive here as well.  A pint can run as much as $5 in our stores.  Your grandson will love them right off the bush once you get them going.  It did take a couple of years for mine to start putting fruit on, but now I have to actually give quite a bit away because I can't use them all.  When they are coming in, I will take my dogs out for a walk and while they take care of their things, I stand and eat blueberries right off the bush.  I don't use insecticides on them, so they are safe to eat like that.  Nothing like fresh blueberries right off the bush.  I've even seen my dogs picking them from the lower branches.  I did the same with my grapes this past year.  I have a vine that is native to this area, Scuppernong, and they were delicious.  I'm hoping to soon have plums right off the tree as well.  I have really had trouble getting a peach tree going though.  I think I may trying getting a tree local this year and see if it does better than the mail order ones.  Oh, the reason I have so many blueberry bushes is so that I do get some and there is enough to share with the birds.

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