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What are your garden plans for 2023?

 
steward
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Somehow, 2022 is almost over. It was a crazy year for me, filled with caring for my husband who was debilitated by an auto-immune flare-up. Needless to say, not much of my goals for 2022 actually happened!

My husband is doing better, and I'm crossing my fingers that he'll stay that way!

I thought it would be fun to set some goals for the New Year. They might not happen because life sometimes doesn't allow that. But they're something to dream and work towards.

What new projects are you working on to make 2023 better?

What new plants are you trying out to enjoy this year?

Any new techniques you'll be trying?

Or maybe you're just sticking to the tried & true for a nice feeling of consistency in a crazy world!
 
Nicole Alderman
steward
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Here's my garden goals/dreams/hopes/whatevers for 2023!

(1) More potatoes! They were the one thing that grew easily and reliably in a crazy weather/life year. I plan on growing more! Some will likely sprout up in old potatoes beds, and I might make another two or three by just mulching a new area with potatoes, or just trying to smother weeds under a tree with potatoes.

(2) Make one new garden bed. I'm going to continue my mult-year project of rehabilitating a bindweed/blackberry/salmonberry patch by hacking back the unwanted, smothering with layers of paper feed sacks, and covering with food scraps and pouiltry bedding. This will be the third bed in this series.

(3) Figure out how to revive old garden beds that aren't producing without tilling the soil or using chemical fertilizers--anyone have any ideas?

(4) Try to do a burn pile of the invasives. I don't like burning stuff for all sorts of reasons, but with so much fire danger in the recent years, I don't really want debris piles near my house, and I don't want the invasives to spread into the protected wetlands around my house.

(5) Mulch my blueberries with poultry bedding so they hopefully produce a bit more this year!

(6) Grow the food my kids pick out!

(7) Grow the food that grows well and we eat: peas, carrots, radishes, squashes.

(8) Try to grow the food we love that doesn't grow well: Tomatoes, corn, beans

(9) Remake my keyhole garden, putting the rotten edge logs under the soil and giving it fresh boarders and maybe a keyhole compost area!

(10) Dig out and level the path next to my garden so the lawnmower and wheelbarrow don't get stuck in it, and so I don't twist my ankle in it, either!
 
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I have a few plans for the garden. I decided the old garden area will become all berries. 2 rows of blackberries are already in place. Plan to add raspberries, strawberries, and grapes. I also have asparagus over there and plan to extend that row. Will need trellises for the new berries.

I got 4 new raised beds on the other side of the yard now for the annuals.

Im piping faucets to each area so hoses are not strung all over the place.

Shop being built so for the first time I want to catch rain water in on of those water totes that have metal pallet on the bottom so I can move it around as needed.

Compost area being moved to new garden area where there’s no Bermuda trying to take it over before I can even use it. (This probably happening today though)

Once the water faucets in the new area it’s ready for cardboard and mulch for the walk areas.

Then set up drip system for new garden / add to existing system in the old area.

That’s all I’ve thought up so far :)
 
master gardener
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Those are some great goals, Nicole!! I hope everyone is in MUCH better health, this year, and you can achieve them ALL!!

My goals for this coming year start with getting bees ordered(I'm giving up on trying to catch a swarm, for now), and getting the tractor fixed. We have a lot of construction (an outdoor kitchen, chicken run expansion, and a new project for a mini greenhouse I'll expand on, in a few minutes) & home repairs planned (metal roof needs to be inspected, and repaired for water damage, & gutters replaced), and much of it hinges on that tractor.

We will see if any of my fall plantings survive - a new batch of fiddleheads, to replace the ones the wildlife wiped out. Maybe some of my saffron survived the high winds and arctic blast. Oh! And, I did have more of my direct-seeded asparagus survive, than I'd expected, so a possible tiny harvest, this spring, and more, in '24 - I hope.

I've informed John that my figs and paw paws WILL be replaced, and, in fact the paw paw seeds have been ordered, and should be arriving, any time, now. I'm also, per the thread on growing avocados in Europe, going to try my hand at those. I understand the roots are not fond of transplanting, so I'll put them in very large pots, in the livingroom, in front of my South facing windows & deck door (the side we don't open). Then, if kept pruned small enough, they can be moved in and out, as the weather dictates.

That mini greenhouse idea came about, by me staring at the huge, south-facing window, in the living room. It's awkward placement at the bottom of the stairs REALLY bugs me. I keep looking at it, thinking the builders (the previous owners) didn't plan it "right"! Maybe later, I'll take a picture, and add it to this post, so you can see what I mean. It's a solid log home, so not dependent on a 'frame', and it could have been moved over just a bit, and been installed as a bay or bow window, providing an amazing, year-round spot for growing herbs, lettuces, micro greens, etc. Someday, I may just do that, anyway - not move it, but replace the window. In the meantime, I'm going to build or buy a shelving unit of some sort, and enclose it on the outside with glass, plexi, or something, and create a little greenhouse that gets sun, but can also get heat from the house (which now has good, reliable heat aplenty!), and have something fresh and green, 365 days per year. I hope.

Things I'd LIKE to get planted and try again... perennials: onions, more asparagus, more fiddleheads, more elderberries, more persimmons, more medicinal herbs, hazelnuts, more blueberries, and some June bearing strawberries. Annuals: tomatoes, various peppers, potatoes, medicinal herbs, squash varieties. But, I'm so OVER transplanting! That has played a huge role in my last few years of garden fails. Both the main and the mini greenhouse will be direct seeded, and protected from critters, and(at least to a degree, from weather) and are located in areas that have easy access to water & fertilizer, and I'll have easy access to them.

We may be adding 3 adult geese (1gander, 2 geese), this spring, and I'm hoping there's no trauma this year that prevents my hens from going broody. Last years heat and (at least) tripled predator pressure kept my girls all stressed, so not one of them went broody. I'm also looking into another Nigora doe or two. And... possibly a donkey. Maybe. Possibly. I think...

Edited to add:
The expansion of the chicken run will be accomplished with arched cattle-panels, with chicken wire going up over it, and attached to the front. There will, if I can manage it, actually be 2 bigger greenhouses. John has decided he isn't going to try to keep ducks in the duck run he built, so I'll start with that one, and cover it with heavy guage greenhouse plastic. The 2nd will be made of whatever cattle panels I have, that don't get used for the chicken run.
 
gardener & hugelmaster
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Glad to see this thread started for 2023. It's good to make garden plans even though they might not always work out.

I use cover crops, compost, manures, leaves, wood ash, & bury kitchen scraps to improve old soils & to make new garden areas. Will continue doing that this year to keep expanding the “sweet spot” in my 1 acre garden. About 25% is rather nice now. The other 75% will eventually get there. Before I moved here it was tilled & plowed extensively. That's simply not how I do it. I try to make it a nice home for the worms & other soil critters to let them do their thing. Can't say plowing & tilling has been totally eliminated but I'm working towards that. So far the weeds are still too rowdy without some machinery to help. The sweet spot doesn't need that anymore though.

This year's new crops include mung beans & some more medicinal plants. Will probably double or triple the amount of potatoes. Intend to build a small raised bed for carrots. Will add more asparagus & other perennials. I need to determine a type of peanut that grows good here. The ones I grew in TN just don't survive here. Also going to expand wildflower areas for the bees & other pollinators.

Have made some progress in hugelfying parts of the garden. This year I want to finish an iron level BB hugel closer to the house. Already have an area cleared & logs staged for that so it might finally be completed this year.

Oh, also in the process of building a chicken coop & enclosed run inside the garden fence. A portable chicken tractor will be a nice addition to the overall garden progress!
 
pollinator
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Nicole, like you, none of my 2022 garden plans materialised because we ended up moving house, mainly due to my husband's health issues. (Although I am not entirely innocent in that area.)
So, to 2023. We have a new garden so much of my time will be taken up by observation although a few edibles in pots will no doubt appear - probably tomatoes and peas.
The house will be taking up a lot of my time although we won't be doing all the major work this time round due to our own limitations. I used to be scathing of people who "got a man in" to do jobs around the house and I now realise how unkind of me it was to condemn them without knowing their abilities.
I am looking forward to seeing what comes up in the garden although I can see that food growing was not a priority for the previous owner as the only food plant we have discovered so far is a quince. I have not had one before so I will have to read up on care.
Wishing everyone a healthy and productive 2023 and I look forward to reading about everyone's successes in these pages.
 
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My plan is to try to grow anything in vegetable world. Last year was a complete failure and I was able only to grow two parsley plants. I tried probably 60 various kinds of vegetables and herbs and tried 5 times from seeds and everything failed miserably no matter what soil I used, shading, watering.
In the midwest I would throw seeds, come in two, three months to harvest, or if I removed weeds I would harvest more, or if on top of that I would water and fertilize - I could open a farm stand.
My place is definitely not a place for vegetables that we know and like but I'm not giving up and realized that I have to start from seeds no matter what (buying small plants is not an option - I like variety) and I'm going to build cold frames.
Also I have to buy two more families of bees - the heat of summer (44 C top) melted the wax in my top bar hive and everything collapsed.
And last but not least - I will plant 74 more fruit trees for which I have to create interrows in my irrigation system and will finally fence it.
I'm also going to finish the masonry barn/coop (12x12 barn with coop on top) that we built this year.
 
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Hoping 2023 is a wonderful year for all Permies!

Mine will be interesting as I will be working in three gardens.

I have very little space in my UK garden, it grows loads of fruit, and I have a raised bed for growing salad greens. I won't be adding anything new this year.

I have my new Bulgarian garden, which is really two half-acre gardens about ten minutes walk apart. Both have wonderful existing walnut and fruit trees, and probably plenty of self-seeded annuals and edible weeds that will pop up. The soil has been tilled to death, so whatever time I can spend there in my first year will be spend observing what is there, mulching wherever I can, and setting up some compost bins. Also getting water sorted out - rainwater harvesting first and then swales, as it's a dry area. It has quite a slope, but all past tilling has been done on contour so there's a starting point for swales there and no obvious erosion issues.

I hope to set up the distant block as orchard and coppiced hazelnut/ black locust for firewood. The main house block will be more fruit and nut trees, a hazelnut and elderberry fedge along the border with the near neighbour, and the old donkey and sheep pastures will also become coppices for firewood, as there are plenty of young self-seeded wild fruit trees and black locust there. That's on top of weatherproofing the main mudbrick house and the shack that's on the second block, then starting to renovate the interior.

It will be a busy year!
 
gardener
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Last year I said:

L. Johnson wrote:My plan -

Plant seeds (especially ones I have saved)
Try to get a yield.
Eat them.
Save more seeds.

Also get more perennials established.

If I can be greedy I'm hoping to have more yields than this past year or two.



I succeeded!

This year I'll have to find a new balance since I'm starting my M.A. studies. My goals are - reorganize the garden such that my kids and my wife want to spend time there.

This includes some ideas such as
- creating a yard space for pitching a tent, kicking a ball, etc.
- planting more flowers
- making a new temporary fire pit (until I can spend time to build my luxury fire pit centered garden living room)
- keeping the garden as tidy as I can, permie style. Hopefully with lots of home-made woodchip mulch and well thought out ground cover.

If I can be greedy I'm hoping to match my pumpkin harvest from 2022 and exceed my sweet potato harvest. They were definitely highlights of the past year.
 
pollinator
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2022 wasn’t a failure but I only accomplished a few of my goals.  Luckily only one surgery for hubby this year and a minor one for my daughter too.  Main problem is that I was already burnt out from gardening by August and one or the other of us has been constantly sick since my daughter returned to school.  Never did get all the garden beds cleaned off and compost and/or mulch added either.  So I'm going to concentrate on getting things from last year crossed off my list.

-finish the brick and paver patio in the back yard.  Have everything except sand and gravel for this.

-pick up rocks and stones from old shade garden (tree cut down and now its full sun) and pile them for use in a new backyard bed.

-Burn stumps and debris from tree that was cut down and area we had cleared for greenhouse.

-get greenhouse together (hopefully not much of a challenge as I'm using metal framework from an old building)

-try not to burn out too early and concentrate on fall crops.

I'll probably add a few more goals here and there but trying to keep it simple for now.
 
gardener
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ugh. the plan at this point is just to have a garden and grow some vegetables. have been focusing on woody stuff and perennials (and a toddler) this year, but the ‘regular’ garden definitely fell by the wayside this time around. hope springs eternal!
 
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2023 is a medicine rabbit year, I hope it will bring a lot of healing. My 2022 garden was all put in when we welcomed a new baby, and it suffered much neglect for the rest of the year. The little herb nurseries I started were the star, and the 100% compost raised bed, which grew enormous tomato and melon bushes. I want to improve on the compost production this year by finding a tool that can chop fibrous stems. We have tons of tansy, raspberry, spirea, shasta daisy, and horseweed for the compost pile, but I keep them separate because they take so long to break down. They clog up the chipper and the loppers are too slow. By creating little nurseries for herbs I was able to raise four garden sages, two bee balms, five lemon balms and eight or ten catnips to about quart-size. Usually when I plant out herbs they get lost but now I can transplant these yearling ones out in the spring and get full size mature plants to harvest in summer. So I'll be starting more herbs close together in beds for next year, moving perennials and putting them in gopher cages, trying to grow an annual vege garden again, and hopefully making some improvements in the swamp.
 
gardener
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Since last year I'm trying to pretend that I'm narrowing down my gardening plans to make them more reasonable and doable, and then... yesterday I ordered a ridiculous amount of lily bulbs, though they're not even sending them for another three months!

I also collected a lot of mashed egg shells, to protect the lillies and other plants from slugs, because I'm not using poisons or weed killers. Of course the slugs will eat them anyway, I thought, so I ordered even more lillies...

Of veggies, I ordered broad beans, broccoli, beetroots, onions, zucchini, and I did NOT order pumpkins because this year I had to eat them myself.

I'm also not collecting seeds (almost), because I don't have a place to grow them and they'd get eaten by the slugs anyway (being usually smaller and weaker than the plants that start in the ground).

And I'm planning to make the edge of my pond look more pretty, and maybe get a rabbit. I'm probably not allowed to get a rabbit, though.

Be realistic, they say!
Happy New Year!
 
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Here's my garden goals/dreams/hopes/whatevers for 2023!

(1) More potatoes! They were the one thing that grew easily and reliably in a crazy weather/life year. I plan on growing more

**also a goal for my family as well.  Root crops are super important, but potatoes/ starch types are high on the list.

(3) Figure out how to revive old garden beds that aren't producing without tilling the soil or using chemical fertilizers--anyone have any ideas?

** I only till brand new beds, and after that I basically use a lasagna method or in your case I would maybe add some seasoned wood chips, chicken manure, or a blend of other animal manure(if it's a hay eating animal, make sure the hay or fields haven't been treated with any amino type herbicides such as Grazon, as it will cause your garden to fail).  Grass clippings are great to add, or you can add all those things toa bucket of water and make a compost tea, then after some broad forking which you could use a pitch fork in a pinch, pour a good compost tea on it, let it sit for a week, then plant into it.  

(5) Mulch my blueberries with poultry bedding so they hopefully produce a bit more this year!
** If you have pine needles,  blueberries LOVE pine needles. High acidity.

(6) Grow the food my kids pick out!

**live this idea. Our kids even have their own garden rows.

Happy New Year!

 
Posts: 128
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Thank you Nicole for this opportunity to write my goals, thereby making their execution more likely.

I want more perennial ,or fully self-seeding, vegetables: maybe I'll try orach again, (no success on my first two tries) and ??? I want at least 3 that are new to me; maybe tree collards, as my kale is doing a great job of self-seeding.

I, too, am making new growing beds. I extended two already this winter, I'll do more work on soil restoration inside the orchard fencing.

I will work on relaxing into acceptance with a friend who will again spend a summer (or longer) on my land. While we have separate dwellings, it can be challenging to not engage too  much of my time in helping him with projects and neglecting my own.

I will try another form of composting this year, or at least move my simple pallet bin out to the sun so it'll be warmer and compost faster. I'm still wondering if I should just incorporate stuff in un-aged and continue to use sawdust/shavings as my mulch. I play with that also.

Grow more dry beans, squash and potatoes; improve my cold storage.

build solar dryer like my proof-of-concept one but bigger.

Build a cover and platform for the elk's mineral block

Happy new year dear permie companions
 
pollinator
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I love reading everyone's goals. Nice to come upon this on 1/1/23.

My first goal is actually more of a mental goal - my girlfriend has been studying horticulture and therefore wants to get more into the garden, which has been almost entirely my domain for years. I've been struggling a bit with sharing 'my baby' especially as she is much more interested in ornamentals, whereas I'm more of a maximize space for production kinda gal. We have a TINY garden so we've been butting heads. But really it's not my garden, it's ours, so we did the garden plan together this year and I'm putting more effort into playing nice.

Like a few others said, more potatoes! And more home-grown calories in general (sunroot and squash, maybe groundnut?). I was lucky enough to connect with a passionate potato guy (growing from TPS) who let me wander his patch and collect as many berries as I want. So I'll grow old faithful sieglinde and also experiment with his varieties. Btw I experimented with a sunroot latke this year (50/50 potato and sunroot) and it was amazing. Would convert the most staunch fartichoke hater. If you ferment them first and are a regular eater of sunroot there's very little to fart about.

We had a pantry moth infestation last fall that got pretty gross and was a painful lesson in proper food storage. We had some large bags of spelt and black beans that needed to be thrown away.. It hurt my head so I figured, can't I use these for cover cropping? Spelt's not so far off from rye and beans are legumes. So this will be the first year I try cover cropping. I also sourced a new liquid nitrogen fertilizer made of soy from a local company, as we don't use animal products this was very exciting! For anyone interested it's at Organic Gardeners pantry.

I want to up my preservation game, as well. Up until now I've done some small scale fermenting and dehydration, but I got a steam canner for Christmas and found a second hand steam juicer for dirt cheap. I made a batch of apple and seaberry juice that is really perky. We also finally made the leap and bought a chest freezer and it's been a game changer.

Lastly I want to switch over to almost entirely perennial greens. I'll probably always grow mustard greens, but I'm okay with not eating annual kale or lettuce. I've got a seed order on the way with hablitzia, good king henry, and perennial homesteaders grex kale. I've identified the closest Linden trees for spring salads. And I've already got salad burnett, sorrel, turkish rocket, and 9 star broccoli.

Hope you all have an abundant 2023!
 
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I am starting from scratch in a patch of high desert. We have one garden bed, one compost bin built and some roughly dug swales.

Here are the 2023 goals:
- Get water infrastructure - rain barrels, irrigation (pre-water softener) installed, dig more swales
- Build some wind breaks
- Bring in compost to improve the soil
- Start planting some trees for a future food forest and hope they survive
- Fill and plant our one raised garden bed

It feels overwhelming right now...
 
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Collect my own seeds. Grow medicinal herbs and veggies and by eating them there is no need to take supplements (vitamins ,…), and one good serving a day will give me the energy for the whole day.
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My plans for 2023 is
- new permaculture project on my parents field!
- Trying so many varieties of techniques as its possible on my small garden;
- Growing so many varieties of tomatoes as its possible to find out the tastier one for me;
Lets see if it will work!
 
gardener
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I'm nervous to admit this and put it out there in public. Fear of failure, maybe? My aim is to grow one million calories this year.

I also plan to create areas in the garden for my toddler to play and explore. Between my health needs for fresh fruits and veggies, budget constraints, and my daughter's excitement last season in harvesting and eating from the garden, I'm going big!
 
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garden goals for 2023.
get some raised beds going, grow food i want to eat.  
grow some grain like millet or amaranth (pig weed grows really well)  i had a lot of sorghum volunteers this last season was surprised by the excellent growth and production.  
2022 i embraced the volunteer garden due to past failures, plant it and it dont grow but will try to love the ones i didn't plant that did grow?  self seeded cherry tomatoes don't care for them but seems i will learn as they grow on their own and produce abundantly.   big plus was an abundance of watermelon but they did not ripen as sweetly as i desired so maybe try a short season melon, and be a meaner to the little watermelon babies that do come.
so looks like i will try a bit of organization with the plants that will grow,  and try try try again for salad greens.
push towards  getting a cold season garden going as summer winds down.
 
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2023 is the year of the rabbit chicken! At least over here. My prey driven dog seems to be oddly disinterested in chickens. My neighbor sells us chicken eggs for a great price, so I thought I'd start with ducks, but the dog came first & I could really use a hand in removing grass and building fertile soil both in and out of the garden - so chickens it is! I've been mulling over the idea all last year, but for Christmas my father-in-law sent cash and said, "Buy a chicken." Who am I to argue? There is a local breeder I already know I will support. I'm thinking of starting with 2 pairs of 3 varieties, in a little chicken tractor (with a coop/run home base) that we can equip with a video camera to start bringing interest to/monetizing our little shpadoinkle we're creating. I'm looking forward to a pair of Skånsk Blommehöna aka Swedish Flower Hens.

Another big change I'm hoping for us a deer exclusion fence around the garden that is coupled with a chicken moat. I think with those two improvements I could have my first decent garden here! Fingers crossed.
 
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I wish everyone success in whatever endeavors they wish to achieve as well as health.

I'm going to get rid of a poplar tree.
While I love plants I despise that one.
Last year all of my (4 years old)  raised bed produced .....almost nothing! I thought because of wet/cold season and so on.
Then, last Fall, while trying to pull out spent tomato, potatoes etc. plants, I was surprised that I ...couldn't!? I couldn't even drive a shovel into the soil which I so carefully prepared, nurtured with "smoothies"  and "love".
Why? I found out that all my raised beds were so full of  tight, semi-soft, tangled, far reaching root mass from that one tree.
I've never seen or experienced anything like that ever before.

I found information, that apparently this is normal, and soil in  raised beds have to be dug/turned over every 3 years. Hmm... We have other type of trees near by, and not one has such far reaching roots as that one!

Other than that, probably trying to grow some weird edible veggie or two, I like to try every year


 
pollinator
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Welp, I unexpectedly spent months out of state, soo-oo I am playing catch up with getting fall “clean up”done. I have negative feeling about that term because so many beneficial insects over-winter in the “debri”, but since it’s an apartment complex I have to dance that line. I came back just in time to catch the newly hired landscaping crew starting to scrape off “my” area, to replace with commercial mulch. I will be starting over, rebuilding that soil and replanting bee plants. And working to beat the crew to the on-site resources such as pine needles that I use for nontoxic mulching. *sigh* They haul it away when they get there first. Fortunately the major portion of “my” areas are now off limits to them and the neighbors are glad I’m back. Guinea Pig’s gonna have step up because I need more compost!
 
master pollinator
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Last summer I increased my garden area by a third. Again. Now I have growing areas that add up to 100 by 150 feet. Not counting paths. Ahem.

Having started a full time job mid November, it looks like half will have to be cover crops! And maybe half of the remaining area dedicated to sprawling winter squashes!

I will have several perrenial nursery beds to get more no work food from in the comming years. Assuming I get stuff wingter sown very soon.
 
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Well, first, for Carla--I just want to ask whether you could build a small attached greenhouse outside that south-facing window.  I have one and it is SOOOO handy. I only got salad from the bed on ground level the first year; the next couple of winters, some little bugs (aphids?) destroyed the crops and I haven't tried since--decided to do hoops of some sort in the garden instead. But those bugs never bother what's on the shelves, so I start plants for my own garden and a couple of others there. Later the greenhouse is a good place to dry things like beans and peanuts, and I also alternate between two towels, putting a damp used one where the sun will dry and freshen it before the next use. We've also used the greenhouse for sick or injured chickens, for orphaned chicks, and once for a winter week so cold the coop didn't suffice. I don't heat this greenhouse, but it sometimes helps heat the house. On cool days in fall, winter and spring, I open the sliding door to the house and the warm air may be enough that we don't need a fire. There is a window and a roof vent. And a trick of my husband's I want to pass on: we have big hickories over the house on the west (so we don't need AC). Therefore we have to have a tin roof on the greenhouse (falling hickory nuts would crack a glass roof). But he built another roof under that, and on the south side a couple of glass panels fit in, passing much extra sun into the greenhouse when the sun is low in the sky in winter, but in early summer the sunshine barely enters the greenhouse.
So, my plans for this year--My situation is pretty settled and my crops mostly successful, but I like to try at least some new varieties every year. Last year it was brussels sprouts, which was a bust; covering them with tulle worked great to keep the egg-laying butterflies off them, until the plants grew too tall for the covering. After that the worms moved in, and I think also some animal chewed a couple. I might try again this year if I can figure out a support system for the tulle that allows a taller cage. I'm trying onions from seed for the second time. Usually they're so damn slow growing that you can't get usable onions by what seems to be harvest time here, the beginning of July. So I use sets instead. But what if someday I can't get sets? Maybe I'll try harvesting my sweet potatoes a little earlier, as black rot (?) moved in at the end of the season last year.
I'm also just beginning to toy with the idea of creating some kind of food forest in my orchard. We've always mowed between the trees there, but last year the predators got so bad I finally gave up on free range chickens and we fenced a run, which includes the orchard. Reading a permaculture book it occurred to me that instead of stringing cord between the tops of the fruit trees and the fence to keep hawks out, maybe I could plant bushes and other plants between the trees, so the chickens aren't exposed anywhere? If the bushes and plants could also provide forage for the chickens, that would be even better. I might add more goumis even though the chickens didn't show much interest--because they fix nitrogen and are close to zero care. Blueberries won't work as they demand special, super-acid soil. Mulberries are too big. There is already a wineberry patch in there, which they do pick a few from. I'm thinking maybe chicory, Maximilian sunflowers--I'd need to cage smaller plants until established, or the chickens would likely scratch them up.  Ideas welcome.
 
Carla Burke
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Mary Cook said, "Well, first, for Carla--I just want to ask whether you could build a small attached greenhouse outside that south-facing window.  I have one and it is SOOOO handy."

Exactly the plan . I very briefly mentioned it, but only briefly, because I've not yet decided how I will do the build - from items I already have on hand(preferred), items on hand supplemented with a few purchased items (more likely), or all new (least favorite idea). I do have some windows, glass shelves, and some foundation possibilities, but I'm doubtful that I've enough to do it 'right', so this may be something that goes through an evolution of sorts.

We're surrounded by oak, walnut, and hickory, so I feel your noisy pain, and our home being log, and in the woods, the metal roof is the only one I can think would make sense here, too. That window has enough overhang that if I don't stretch the little greenhouse out too far, it will be protected from the nut-drop, without further blocking the sun.
 
Mary Cook
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But then maybe your greenhouse won't be big enough! Ours is 7 X 12 feet. We used tempered glass which we got used at $10 apiece, 6 feet by about 20". It has some stains which nothing has been able to remove, but although that impedes the view through it some, it doesn't block sunlight. I should mention that the upper, metal roof slants slightly down to the south, while the under roof slants more sharply, so there is a big gap on the south side for the winter sun to shine in.
 
pollinator
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I’ll be nurturing some young plants that I don’t expect to produce yet.

Last year I manage to get three American Hazelnuts started from seed I picked up at the Michiana seed swap. I planted those out in a bed and hope to nurse them through the next couple years to get nuts maybe in 2025.  

This year, 3 years after I put in a request, the city finally came by and planted a new tree in my parkway. It’s a chinkapin oak, which may give us useful acorns in IDK, 2030? After losing the maple tree back in 2018 or 2019 I had planted the parkway with native savanna plants. It will be interesting to see how the oak sapling affects that little biome.

In 2022 I put in two columnar apple trees, so I’ll be watching over these and hope for first fruit maybe 2024.

As far as annuals and veg, I saved a good amount of my own seed from crops that did well this year. Legumes were the real performers; very pleased by the “Madison farmers market peanut” I got from Great Lakes Staple Seeds. I had never had fresh fro the ground peanuts before, and am now a convert. Also the “Potawatomi rabbit cowpea” I got from Blake Lenoir grew gangbusters, enough that I could even harvest dry beans from my tiny back yard!  The rattlesnake beans I’ve been growing a few years now put out and interesting sport this year, black beans with brown speckles rather than brown with black. I’ll be planting those and maybe get a little landrace going.

I also have my tomato project that I posted about here New tomato project

 
Carla Burke
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Mary Cook wrote:But then maybe your greenhouse won't be big enough! Ours is 7 X 12 feet.



It's as big as we have space for - in that location. But, there will also still be 2 additional greenhouses (this will allow me to keep plants separate, that don't play nicely, or that I want to keep from cross-pollinating. And... is there ever truly 'enough' space, for us seed hoarding, garden maniacs?
 
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Reading other’s goals is inspiring! 2022 was pretty darn good for certain veggies & fruits, especially our 5 apple trees, squash, pumpkins & watermelon! Did lots of canning & freezing.
This is year three at our homestead & here are my 2023 garden goals:
1. Set up worm farms for composting
2. Build a hoop house
3. Do more seed starts
4. Create more areas with wildflowers for pollinators & hummingbirds
5. Plant yams & potatoes
6. Plant more blueberries & raspberries
7. Set up raised beds
8. Manage those darn weeds & insect pests better!!!
 
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Mary Cook wrote:

Reading a permaculture book it occurred to me that instead of stringing cord between the tops of the fruit trees and the fence to keep hawks out, maybe I could plant bushes and other plants between the trees, so the chickens aren't exposed anywhere? If the bushes and plants could also provide forage for the chickens, that would be even better. ...--I'd need to cage smaller plants until established, or the chickens would likely scratch them up.  Ideas welcome.



Since my chooks are free ranging through my urban yard, I have a few tips.  They don't do as much damage from eating the vegetables (those that they access; most are fenced in) as they do by scratching.  So what's worked best is to surround plants with large rocks or branches that they cannot scratch and move.

Also, they want to eat the bugs, so they spend lots of time scratching through woodchips, leaves, and compost piles.  If you can put some of that in their area, it keeps them out of mischief and provides food and "natural behavior" for them.  And they help to move and turn them, creating compost, as it mixes with their droppings, too.  (but watch out for potholes; those are ankle breakers!)

They love to hang out under the bushes and plants.  We don't have birds of prey here, but I think that would help your situation.  I can't offer any suggestions for plants, though.  Mine love mangoes and papayas, but that's the wrong climate zone for you!
 
Alina Green
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As to my 2023 gardening goals, well, I'm already behind (our best gardening season just started), but...
--maintain the two tower garden units I just got
--keep up with succession planting seeds, so I can have transplants ready to go in, wherever there is room
--obtain another plastic laundry sink
--make one or two more worm bins in different areas
--make and trial an indoor worm bin, as a gift for my friend's birthday in March.  (She doesn't "believe" we are likely to experience crazy inflation and possibly food shortages/famine any time soon.  But I am heeding the warnings, especially since, being an island, we cannot just drive to the next state to pick something up.  We import more than 85% of our food here.  And people seem completely clueless!  I started her growing in pots on her lanai years ago, and she's kept that up.  Baby steps...)
--use compost tea and garden scrap teas more regularly
--maintain a garden notebook, so I can know which varieties work best for us
--save more of my own seeds
--air layer duplicates of some of my favorite plants, for redundancy (also because there has already been theft from the street, where many of my plants grow)
--grow and process more medicinal herbs
--grow more flowers (with a long-term goal of getting bees!)
--grow more of the spices and herbs for tea that I now purchase
--dry the orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit peel of any organic fruits I grow/get
--relocate some of the street-level plants to areas in the yard
--obtain more toilet tanks for the back area, a narrow strip that is the only full sun we get in the back this time of year
--refresh my dragon fruit plants and replace the varieties that need hand pollination
--grow watermelons, melons, pumpkins, and chayote squash
--succession plant green, long, winged, and lima beans
--try cover cropping this summer
--try to grow some onions into bulbs
--grow enough greens and grass to sustain a few small rabbits, for fertilizer at least; possibly for meat also (I am anticipating shortages or unaffordable prices for hay, and I do not want to buy commercial feed full of coloring and hydrogenated horrible oils, etc)
--that would also mean building some sort of rabbit housing, too
--use some natural sprays to control powdery mildew and other bacterial/fungal diseases that would normally kill stuff
--figure out how to grow peppers!
--and then make my own fermented hot sauce!
--make and use some of the Korean Natural Farming/JADAM-type amendments
--grow more greens for the chickens and ducks
--kill slugs and snails more regularly, before they become a big problem
--grow all my own ginger and turmeric
--grow Mexican oregano again (killed a plant I had for years; I miss it for cooking, and babies I've tried to grow since have all died)
--grow all my own greens
--harvest more of my coffee
--graph lemon and tangerine onto the jabong cocktail tree
--find a good location for the mulberry and keep that alive this time
--use the shredder I bought to shred cardboard for the worm and compost bins
--rebuild the compost sifter
--possibly start aerobic compost tea brewing
--repot and refresh the kumquat tree
--stop overbuying seeds!!!
--set up the plastic rack I picked up from the trash yesterday as a table for more seed starting
--put up the wire mesh as trellising and plant something like cucumber or peas to climb it
--keep notes on the different micro dwarf tomato varieties I am trying

Wow, some lofty goals...but they say you should aim higher than you think you might accomplish, right?!  Thank you for forcing me to set some goals.  Things fall too easily by the wayside otherwise.

Happy New Year to my permie "family."  We are helping to save the world...and let's hope more people join the movement, eh?!

(I'm guessing with the coming nitrogen fertilizer shortage, some people WILL figure out that aged urine becomes ammonia, so we actually make all the fertilizer we need...without the industrial mega-corporations...)
 
pioneer
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To move to self sufficient.   Plant in garden beds, along with fruiting trees?
 
gardener
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I'm already halfway into my season, so I'll share what I've done so far.

-plant old seeds already (i don't think i need to describe my seed stash problem to permies). I did get a few things that have never come up (like bottle gourds and cantaloupe), too early to say whether they'll actually produce or not, but here's hoping

-keep on trying. 5 batches of okra in the ground and i'll put another one in tomorrow. they've been in since september and grown maybe 5 cm max, forget about actually making leaves or flowers. Eventually they'll grow, I just need to keep trying. My first batch of sweet corn made ears at less than a foot tall, I ripped it all out and batch 2 is looking a bit more promising

-roll with punches. We've had insane weather and health challenges. The plants keep growing, whether I'm out there or not. I wish I had more garden time but I'm taking what I can get and not feeling too bad about it.

-zen thinking: I have a new puppy who is determined to destroy every blessed thing I own. Just this week he got over a 5-foot fence to eat my cucumbers and a six-footer to destroy my succulents. I'm trying to remember that there will be other cucumbers, succulents are a dime a dozen, and that one day this puppy will be an old dog laying in the sun, and that all this is temporary.
 
master pollinator
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1) put my new greenhouse to use
2) set a new produce challenge for myself to go longer than this year(early Nov) without any store bought veg/fruit
3) start enough extra plants to hold a "plant sale" in the spring!

OH!  and 4)  work on my 100,000 calorie PEP challenge!
 
master gardener
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I am in the process of rebuilding the high tunnel.  My wife informs me I will finish the greenhouse on the SE side of the house.  I am expanding the garden by about 300 sq feet.   I am hope to plant about 1/2 acre in sunflowers.   The operative word here is “plan”.   I will post in the fall as to what has been accomplished.
 
gardener
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Well I had a pretty good success with one of my goals for 2022 - the simple farming system. At least, I did a lot of digging and have an area pretty much prepared for actually growing some food this year!
The other two goals I didn't do so well at - the polytunnel still needs it's cover - I missed it last year, and the local gardening club just didn't get off the ground, although I did give it a good shot (here)

I have far too many projects for 2023 as usual, but to simplify:
Simple Farming:

simple farming solar aspect beds growing food Skye
Solar Aspect beds


project thread
This year I'm going to grow food, collect first seeds for my landraces and hopefully grow black oats for the first time.

Chinampa and water terraces:
project thread
I'm going to finish planting this up, hopefully fairly early in the year.

Crater Garden:
project thread
I'm going to dig a big hole!

Other plans:
I want to plant some hedge plants around my tree field to create a barrier to eliminate the need for my deer fence in time.
I need to plan my front garden to work with our proposed house extension. This will involve a new composting system that is more dog/bird resistant, a new drying line for the washing, and access paths that don't turn into mud baths for half the year!
Recovering the polytunnel is still on the list, I want to plant more soft fruit out in the tree filed to get more varieties, maybe start a perennial  root polyculture area, and I'd quite like to get round to some things I've never quite done; like using the lush nettles in my garden for making some fibre yarn.




 
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Good luck everyone!

Im just starting on the self sufficiency road so only time will tell what this year will bring.

I bought an old dilapidated croft house with 2 acres in the Scottish Highlands a few months ago and have been tidying up all the rubbish etc to get ready for this year.

Its not been used for about 10 years a neighbour mentioned and from what I can make it was used as a party weekend destination for who ever stayed there.

The previous owner clearly liked their booze there was loads of smashed glass bottles, drink cans, suspicious medication tubs all over the place, tattoing stuff.

They must have decided to have a massive bonfire with all their belongings at some point, there was a big pile of half burnt stuff.... bedding/clothes/batteries everything, loads of junk metal through the soil.

I'm not living there yet, still clearning out some belongings but hope to be up there by end of Feb full time with my five cats

Then the real work begins!

This year I hope to get a lot of trees planted as it just a bare field sadly, and try and attract some birds to the area and also some flowers for the bee's - two easy things to get started.

I'm not sure what condition the soil is in, so will have to investigate and see what I can grow veg wise.

I would be happy with some basic veggies  like potatoes /leeks / broccoli /cabbage for my first year, oh and some cat "grass" for the kitties to run about daft in.

Got a wee bit of Ivy clearling to do also




 
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