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Thread: Thinking about the 2018 garden..........

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    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Thinking about the 2018 garden..........

    I suppose I should have planted snow peas by now. But I'm at the point in my life with a bunch of "conditions" that make life harder.......with a lot of pain when I do much. So I'm thinking of letting the peas go. I can buy any I might need.

    I want to plant a lot of greens, spinach, etc. And the usual....pole beans, cucs, winter squash, tomatoes and peppers. I have 9 stock tanks up on cement blocks, but it's hard not having things connected to the ground. they dry out so fast. Plus, the moles have done a number by digging under the cement blocks and then the stocktanks start to list.

    I'm going to plant bush zucchini this year, away from the garden, since they attract squash bugs and then the winter squash gets attacked. I wrote in another post how much we like the spiralized zucchini noodles, so I decided to start growing zucchini again........but far away from the garden.

    It's hard giving up things I've done my whole life and had such pleasure doing. But such is life, I guess..............or such is growing old and wearing out.

    What are you going to plant in your gardens this year?

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    After last year's fiasco of a garden I decided I'm not putting in a vegetable garden this year. I'll save my time and energy for moving perennial beds (milkweed, primarily) and planting prairie flowers behind the garage, which otherwise is just three more minutes of mowing.

    Oh, also have some calla lily bulbs to replant if I can remember where they are in the garage. With 15" of snow on the ground I've got a little time to look.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    We're in a state of flux. I'm sad looking at my raised beds that will be fallow this year, and the dirt feels so great... DH wants to bring two of the 2x4 rectangular boxes he built to Vermont, and I have no problem with that. Frankly, I'd love to pack up the soil! But I know the previous owners were good home gardeners, so the soil in the gardens is probably pretty decent.

    I'm planning on the usual up there--tomatoes (hoping to be able to bring up some Rutgers varieties), greens, Swiss chard, zucchini, cukes. I'm also looking forward to plotting out a perennial garden and planting window boxes. But I can't plan until we get up there and I can do some investigating.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Nothing yet. More snow came last night and the ground is covered. I too thought of not gardening but have decided instead to cut back to tomatoes, squash, basil, parsley, broccoli and cauliflower. I will plant more perennial flowers where I have had vegetables.

    For perennial edibles I already have herbs and mints.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    I would have loved to have raised beds that were all about 3-4' high and open to the ground below.........but man, that would have required sooooo much soil. I feel sort of unnatural with these raised stock tanks. But I just couldn't do all that leaning over anymore. And I still get veggies, so that's good. The challenge for a couple years has been to keep the tomatoes from dying young from a blight. I used to water overhead from my golf cart, which was a wonderful task. But watering overhead can cause leaf blight, so now I hobble through the garden, pulling the hose, watering underneath the plants. I need one of those extreme outdoor wheelchairs. haha I do keep a stool out there though, and that helps.

    We put up a solar electric fence last year, after the coons raided my tomatoes. I think it worked, 'cause there was no damage after that. But the new solar charger would poop out too soon, so I'll test it for awhile this spring, and have until July to exchange it under warranty. I also got one of those lights that flash, if it quits working, which is very helpful.

    catherine.........I've reduced the types of tomatoes I grow to just cherry, Roma, and Rutgers. Rutgers are heirloom and I find them pretty reliable. Are there different varieties of them?

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    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    I have garlic (up about 12 in, overwintered), spinach, chard and peas coming up now. We are only going to plant tomatoes, a couple peppers and blue lake beans later on. No more squash or cukes. Take up too much space and not enough yield.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CathyA View Post

    catherine.........I've reduced the types of tomatoes I grow to just cherry, Roma, and Rutgers. Rutgers are heirloom and I find them pretty reliable. Are there different varieties of them?
    Glad you asked! My Rutgers Master Gardener professor--a lifelong farmer and long-time Rutgers horticultural researcher/teacher--gave us a list of what HE considers to be the best Rutgers varieties:

    HYBRIDS:
    BHN589 (great tasting) (Determinate)
    Celebrity (quite disease-resistant) (Determinate)
    Jet Star (Indeterminate)
    Mountain Spring (Determinate)
    Red Deuce (Determinate)
    Supersonic (Indeterminate)
    Ramapo (a Rutgers classic--I always plant a couple of those) (Indeterminate0
    Mt. Fresh Plus (Determinate0

    HEIRLOOM (None of these below have been bred for disease-resistance)
    Eva Purple Ball (Indeterminate)
    Brandywine-Red (Indeterminate)
    Mortgage Lifter (His favorite heirloom) (Indeterminate)

    CHERRY (all Indeterminate)
    Sun God
    Sweet 100
    Black Cherry

    GRAPE
    Smarty (Indeterminate0

    PASTE/PLUM
    Viva Itallia (Determinate)
    Jersey Devil (Indeterminate)
    Martino's Roma (Determinate)
    San Marzano (Indeterminate)


    *I didn't know what determinate v indeterminate meant before taking this class, so just in case you don't: determinate means it's a short bush and all the fruit ripens at the same time basically over a period of 1-2 weeks; Indeterminate produce fruit until killed by frost.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  8. #8
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Thanks catherine. I thought Rutgers was the name of just one type of heirloom.

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    The portable greenhouse is on the patio. I'm going to start: cucumber, lemon cucumber, eggplant-2 cultivars, beets....and I'm trying carrots 1 last time!

    The CSA plant sale is 3w away...I buy my tomatoes and peppers from them.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gimmethesimplelife's Avatar
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    I've already gotten Armenian Cucumber in the ground - this is an incredible plant that loves the worst part of Phoenix Summers - once the humidity comes up from Mexico early July and every day after that it's 108F or so and muggy - Armenian Cucumber LOVES this, as does my Arabian Jasmine.

    Also in the ground shortly will be okra, sunflowers, and cantelope (sp?) - all do great in the Phoenix Summer provided they get water, though the last can be troublesome due to whiteflies that love summer heat once the humidity sets in here. Rob

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