Author Topic: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020  (Read 890 times)

Offline __33w__

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__33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« on: February 22, 2020, 04:29:39 PM »
I'm in mid-Michigan, along the boundary between zone's 5 & 6.  Last frost date is June 1st.  I currently have 3 4'x8'x20" raised beds, and a bunch of containers.  I have about 2'x2' of planted asparagus, Mary Washington; a couple of crowns in their third season, and a bunch from seed in its second.  I also have 1'x2' of grocery store garlic planted, we'll see if it comes up in the spring.

My home faces to the NW.  The front yard has good sun.  I have two 3-variety apple trees, blueberries, raspberries, and goji berries there.  The backyard has many trees, so I'm putting beds in the areas with best sunlight.

Plan:  I have a 2025 goal of growing 50% of my family's produce.  This is the first year that I'll be tracking harvests by weight.

I will be adding 2 4'x8'x20" beds, and I think I am going to risk moving my asparagus to a dedicated 3'x3' bed.  Writing this, I'm wondering if I should grab another pack of asparagus seed to add to the bed...

This year I would like to begin some seed saving.  First, bush snap beans - I'm collecting from a few sources with the intent of creating a land race.  Also, tomatoes and peppers.

Bed 1: Dark Red Norland Potatoes (Johnny's)
Bed 2: 50% Adirondack Blue Potato / 50% German Butterball Potato (High Mowing)
Bed 3: Various Tomatoes: Yellow Pear, Green Grape, Black Cherry, Bloody Butcher, Anna Russian, Snow White, Chadwick, Black Plum (Annie's); Black Cherry (High Mowing); Brad's Atomic Grape (Baker Creek); Homestead (seed swap)
Bed 4: 2sqft Garlic (grocery); 2sqft Dorata di Parma Onion (Annie's); 16sqft Mix of Bush Beans (Annie's, MIGardener, seed swap); 4sqft Oxheart carrot (Baker Creek), 4sqft Uzbek golden carrot (Baker Creek), 4sqft red core chantennay carrot (NE Seed)
Bed 5: 2sqft muncher cucumber (Annie's), 2sqft straight 8 cucumber (MIGardener), 2 sqft rainbow chard (MIGardener), 2sqft Tatsoi (Baker Creek), remainder TBD

Back deck containers: Pepperoncinis (NE Seed), Poblanos (NE Seed), Aji Charapita (Baker Creek), Tomatoes (see above), Potatoes (see above), Herbs (Annie's, NE Seed, Johnny's)
Hanging baskets: Currant tomatoes (Territorial, MIGardener)
Indoor: Lettuces, Herbs, Micro Tom tomato, Orange Hat tomato, Minibel tomato (Baker Creek), Coffee (MIGardener)
Front yard: Saffron Crocus (Eden Brothers)

Unplanned: Walking stick cabbage (swap), bell peppers (Annie's), pumpkin (Annie's), watermelon (High Mowing), zucchini (swap), sunflowers (Lake Valley), ornamental flowers (Annie's, High Mowing, Baker Creek), broccoli (swap), sweet corn (swap), popcorn (swap), runner beans(MIGardener), Hansen's Bush Cherry & Elderberry (Rare Plant/Nick Ferguson).




Log:

2/1: Started 9 tomatoes.  3 each of Orange Hat, Mirco Tom, and Minibel.  All from Baker Creek.
2/8: 6/9 tomatoes have germinated.  3 minibel, 2 micro tom, 1 orange hat.
2/13: Started 4 cans for the "pepper in a can" challenge on fb.  2 seeds each of pepperoncini (NE seed), aji charapita (Baker Creek), tobasco (seed swap), and African Bird-eye (seed swap)
2/20: Of the peppers, only the pepperoncini has germinated (100%!)
2/22:  Potted up one of the minibel tomatoes to a 3.5 pot w/soil.  Started a container of potting soil with red core chantennay and cosmic purple carrot.  Started woven pots w/starter mix of opal basil, genovese basil, and ice queen lettuce; all destined for kratky system.  Setup lights and heater in office to boost germination.

Offline __33w__

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2020, 04:32:01 PM »
Holding for future log entries.

Offline bigbear

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2020, 07:01:11 AM »
Are those in the 'unplanned' category seeds that you have but aren't planting?  Or seeds/plants that you're planting, but haven't figure out where yet?  I can relate to either scenario!!  :)

How's the Hansen Bush Cherry?  I'm interested in a small cherry of some sort. 

I love asparagus.  Great taste, low maintenance and they just keep producing year after year! 

Offline __33w__

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2020, 09:08:36 AM »
Are those in the 'unplanned' category seeds that you have but aren't planting?  Or seeds/plants that you're planting, but haven't figure out where yet?  I can relate to either scenario!!  :)

How's the Hansen Bush Cherry?  I'm interested in a small cherry of some sort. 

I love asparagus.  Great taste, low maintenance and they just keep producing year after year!

Ones that I'm probably going to plant, just haven't figured out where yet.  There's some unplanned bed space where I'll fit a few in.

Don't know yet on the Hansen's Bush Cherry, those will be shipping later this spring, and it will probably be next year before I've got anything of interest to report.

Offline __33w__

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2020, 12:48:25 PM »
Whelp, it looks like I can't edit the previous post to add updates.  Oops.


3/4: Currently in Fool's Spring.  43 degrees out and sunny, high of 61 on Sunday!  But I know better, and freezing temps are still in the forecast.  Low temps at night will be good for the maple sap.

Saw some garlic start to peek through the leaf mulch outside, and buds of the apple trees.

Inside, seed starting is just getting started.  My setup is two of the 45W Kingbo lights, a wire shelf, and a space heater (on cold days, this room can drop to ~60, so I nudge it up).  I have a container of carrots starting to come up nicely.  The Orange Hat, Micro Tom, and Minibel tomatoes continue to grow.  One of each will be destined for kratky, while the others get potted, probably weekend after next.  Some of the basil and/or lettuce sprouted.  Only a single seedling of the dark opal basil came up, none of the lettuce.  Going to try these in the rapid rooter plugs next.

2 of my peppers in a can have come up: the pepperoncini and aji charapita.  Probably won't waste too many more seeds fiddling with the others, rather would just get them growing in seed starter. 

Lastly, the Thai basil that my wife mistakenly bought is holding on okay.  I'll need to pot this up soon as well to give it a better shot.

Offline __33w__

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2020, 11:05:33 AM »
Photos!

First is of my beds - new one in the foreground, and the three old ones in the back.  Since the photo, I've finished the sides on that one, and broke ground on a 5th using the same blocks/2x6s.

Second is of my current composting mess.  I'm in the process of building a Lehigh composter and turning my compost while moving it.  I've also got some leftover soil/compost that will go into the new beds.

Third is of my garlic poking through.  This is grocery store garlic from last year, planted in October (I think).






Offline bigbear

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2020, 12:07:57 PM »
I'm not familiar with a Lehigh composter.  I'll have to look into it.  Why did you choose it instead of other types?

Offline __33w__

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2020, 12:33:33 PM »
Don't have an incredibly good reason, learned of it through the You Bet Your Garden podcast and wanted to give it a try.  One change that I've made (that hopefully works out okay) is not using rebar in the corners, and rather notching both sides of the board and building the composter Lincoln Log style.  The boards are 4' long, with a 2" wide, 1/2" deep notch 1" in from the end.  That makes the interior dimensions 42"x42".  27" (10.5 layers) will be a cubic yard.  I am turning my compost as I move it into the new system. 

You can also use this style for a large potato tower, and in the off season store the boards flat and out of the way.

One of the only pictures online that I was able to find, and my implementation.




Offline __33w__

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2020, 02:13:20 PM »
Pretty good day today!

Started a 72-cell seed starter, reuse from last year, to start tomatoes, peppers, and a few other things. Kicked off some hydro basil using the rapid rooster plugs and 1/4 strength master blend combo. Intend to move those over, 3 net pots to a 5-gal bucket once the germinate.

For stuff previously going, I’ve got one good tomato, 4 okayish peppers, and good thai basil. Garlic is doing really well out in the bed. I also found a few garlic shoots where I had planted them! Marked them with rocks to keep from stepping on them.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2020, 02:43:42 PM »
Looks good, 33w!

I like that compost system.

Offline __33w__

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2020, 11:12:13 AM »
Looks good, 33w!

I like that compost system.

Thanks!  I've made one small change - I'm now cutting 3/4" deep notches.  The board fit together a bit better and hold the compost in.  It will require a bit more in lumber per ft^3, but worth it in the end.  When I turn this first pile, I'll need to remember to cut down the first set I did at 1/2".

Offline __33w__

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2020, 06:43:12 AM »
The basil started on Sunday is started germinating!  4 days in the rapid rooted plugs (ripped in half), with 1/4 strength masterblend mix.  Still waiting on the rest of the seeds.  Coffee is 1-3 months to germination...

Offline __33w__

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2020, 12:35:19 PM »
So its been a few weeks.  Will post some pictures over the next couple days.  Its been snowing on and off over the past week, so not much has been getting done outside.

Seed starting continues well, have a tray of 72 and I've moved about 1/3 into 3.5" pots.  Hope to get the rest done soon, but I don't have enough room under my grow lights for them all.  I've got 2 of the 45W kingbows that I've had for a couple years now.  Once the overnight temps are regularly above freezing, I should be able to more them into our covered porch and use a heater to get through the cooler evenings and mornings.  Once those get upgraded, I'll start the next set of seeds.

Out in the beds, the carrots and radishes have begun to germinate, and the garlic keeps getting bigger.  I grabbed the last bit of soil/compost from last year and filled up bed 5 so I can put it to use.  I'm still planning on adding another layer, but it can wait until I've a good enough reason to go out to home depot.

Found a deal for some soil and a metal planter to be delivered, so that's coming later today.  Need to figure out where that will live and what's going in it.  I definitely have a lot more seed/starts/etc than I have space for, so I may clear some of the backyard to do in-ground as well.  I've also ordered some random stuff on impulse - Jerusalem artichoke, bunching onion, strawberry plants, rhubarb, etc.  I figure that I'll plop it somewhere and hope for the best.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2020, 05:51:28 AM »
That all sounds great! I don't yet have enough space for everything I'd like to do... maybe next year :)

Offline __33w__

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2020, 08:45:29 AM »
Busy weekend of getting shit done!  Took the risk and transplanted my fledgling asparagus into a 36" metal ring that I got.  Hedged the risk by adding some additional seed so in a few years we're solid to harvest.

Planted some Jerusalem artichoke that I got from Ben Falk along the neighbor's fence.  I'm hopeful that these will become a nice screen over time.

A little late for some of the cold weather stuff, but I split a bed between red core chantennay carrot, parisian carrot, and tatsoi.  I also dropped a few potatoes in the bed where my garlic, carrots, and radishes are already.  Seeing some good growth, I'll need to thin them out next week I think.  I'm a over a month out from my last frost date, so hopefully I'll get some production before it gets too warm.  My plant is to add tomatoes into this bed once it is warm enough.

My sprouts indoors are continuing to do well.  I need to transplant that last of the 2/1 group into 3.5" pots, then start my last batch of indoor seeds.  Container carrots need to be thinned. My first kratky plants haven't died yet... but I'm not seeing any growth either.  Struggling a little with starting from seed - I need a couple of things to match Jack's setup.  Two of my sprouts are the micro tom tomatoes from Baker Creek.  They're in half gallon reservoirs now, I think they'll move up to 5 gal buckets after a while.

Realizing that I don't have enough bed space for everything, I started creating some mounds where I have future beds.  These will get some some squashes and whatnot.  I'll also be putting corn directly in ground.  I have two sweet corn varieties that I'll be planting at the same time.  They have a 30 day difference in maturity, so I think I should be safe from cross pollination.  I also have some popcorn that I'd like to grow, I think if I grow it on the opposite side of the house it might be safe.

On Sunday, I saw someone offering free (you dig) hydrangeas.  My wife loves these, so I went out to get them.  There's a lot of plant there.  Tonight they are going to be split and put in the ground around the house.

Overall, I'm really happy with how the garden is shaping up for this year.  Lots of work to do, but lots done already.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2020, 01:07:08 PM »
It all sounds great!

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2020, 04:47:19 PM »
Sounds great.

Do you get hit by squash vine borers up there in Michigan?  We are usually good for the 1st half of the Summer, then over night the vines die.  We tend to grow Zucchini, not vining squash, so the vines can't put down secondary roots.

Offline __33w__

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2020, 07:23:59 AM »
@Fritz - I haven't run into them (yet?).  I tried to grow pumpkin last year and didn't notice any bug damage.  Deer got all of my fruits though...

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: __33w__ GardenDate; 2020
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2020, 02:45:11 PM »
That's a good thing.  I'll have great zucchini the entire first month or so.  If I don't catch the bore hole in the vine, the plant will do fantastic.  I'll check on the plants one day, go to bed and the next morning the plants are dead.  Autopsy shows a big fat grub inside the vine.