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What are your garden plans for 2022?

 
master steward
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Location: Missouri Ozarks
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First things first, here - repair the damage done by all the free-ranging birds (turkeys, ducks, and chickens), and Kola(aka: the pain in my buck). So, my 100+ garlic that I planted in fall, will be replaced with spring garlic. Then, there are the saffron crocus & strawberries they have decimated. I'll see what can be salvaged, replant those, hopefully expand and then, protect each crop, as I go.

We're going to be expanding & improving the beds I started 2yrs ago. More perennials. The asparagus beds are set for expansion, and we will be adding Jerusalem artichokes, and 3 types of actual artichokes (2 are perennial, but won't offer a crop for a couple years, so an annual variety is going in too, so we can hopefully have some this year). I'm going to try just throwing some wildflower seeds out, to see what sticks, too.

I'm going to give willows another try (I love our birds, but DAMMIT, they are killing my edible landscaping attempts!), I've got Chicago Hardy figs and pawpaws to go in, and start guilds for, and I think, somewhere, I have some bare root blueberries ordered, as well as rhubarb, grapes, and an Arkansas Black apple. This year, my peach tree gets a net, too. I want to know what my peaches TASTE like!

We have a brand new beehive waiting to be moved to its new location, and (hopefully) filled with a new swarm, to enjoy and pollinate all my growing efforts.

With both of us spending the better part of this whole month basically bedridden, it's really driven home the facts of life:
We're not getting younger, and we're already disabled.
Each time we get sick, it takes us longer to recover.
Low/no maintenance is crucial, if we're going to stand a chance of aging in place.
So, annuals will be minimal, but I want to do sweet potatoes, red-skinned potatoes, tomatoes, pickling cukes, a handful of herbs, some squash, and maybe some gourds.
 
master steward
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Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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Dawn Taillon wrote:I am redoing my yard to be more drought tolerant in the high desert but want to make a new lasagna garden and buy a green house for temporary to put over the lasagna and plant food. I used to have flowers only.

So glad you're expanding into food plants. A food plant garden doesn't have to look like a farm or a veggie patch. Flowers are welcome in my veggie garden, and my front garden has Day Lilies in it which of a variety which is actually edible! Many fruit trees and berries bushes have beautiful blossoms. There is lots of information to help you get started in the https://permies.com/f/124/gardening-beginners forum.
 
Jay Angler
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Carla Burke wrote:

First things first, here - repair the damage done by all the free-ranging birds (turkeys, ducks, and chickens), and Kola(aka: the pain in my buck).

Hang in there! I would love to plant a garden for exactly those sorts of pests brats employees, but I want it *in* the field, not in my garden area because that garden is too far away in the opposite direction. I know there's  no point until Hubby agrees to a spot in the field, so I can get *really*, *really*, *really* good fencing up. Those employees can be highly motivated when they even think there's something good just out of reach! Hubby looks at the cost of the fencing and complains it's not worth it, but I like my employees to have a healthy, well-balanced diet along with special treats like Purple Kale (and if you don't believe that Purple Kale is a treat, you should come and watch my chickens jumping up to try to steal it take it out of my bucket).
 
Carla Burke
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Jay Angler wrote:Carla Burke wrote:

First things first, here - repair the damage done by all the free-ranging birds (turkeys, ducks, and chickens), and Kola(aka: the pain in my buck).

Hang in there! I would love to plant a garden for exactly those sorts of pests brats employees, but I want it *in* the field, not in my garden area because that garden is too far away in the opposite direction. I know there's  no point until Hubby agrees to a spot in the field, so I can get *really*, *really*, *really* good fencing up. Those employees can be highly motivated when they even think there's something good just out of reach! Hubby looks at the cost of the fencing and complains it's not worth it, but I like my employees to have a healthy, well-balanced diet along with special treats like Purple Kale (and if you don't believe that Purple Kale is a treat, you should come and watch my chickens jumping up to try to steal it take it out of my bucket).



I've come to the conclusion that if I want any leafy greens for our table, they'll have to be grown indoors, lol
 
pollinator
Posts: 162
Location: Ontario
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Planting more this year then last & more flowers. I didn't experiment with anything last year other than adding drip irrigation to my tomatoes. I swear I'll finish my Hugel bed this year, much less work to get the top on this spring, only 3 ft higher. I had dug down and added logs so added a ton of extra work.

Expanding my fruit tree guilds this year with more understory planting, extending the drip line planting.

I've been working on a low Hugel type hedge to deal with privacy and water at the road. Little came up last year I'm hoping seeds will have stratified this winter and the wild things will grow. I'll be adding more trailing peas and morning glory.

Plan to fence in a large area this year. Deer have made a mess of my younger fruit trees and the rabbits & chipmunks have destroyed most of my onions, cabbage & peppers last year. Really the chipmunks taunt me with the onion bulbs. They pull them out of the ground, while in sight of me, have a nibble and put the bulbs elsewhere.

I'm planning a moon light garden of white flowers in corner somewhere. I've been told my initial spot is too close to the outhouse. So this has to be sorted out.

I'm going to make more vertical bucket gardens. It was easy to protect the tomatoes from the critters this way using cow panels, T-posts, 5 gallon buckets, and bird mesh. I like the idea of shade tunnels of vines I can walk through and eat from. Also may be an interesting to race drones around them!

I've been growing some pawpaws in the existing forest canopy and will start to make more space for the pawpaws.

Looking at making proper garden spaces with walking paths, a potting area and places to sit & enjoy what's growing. To this point I'd been just finding a spot that sun and water happen and the garden goes there. I've fully embraced gardening with absolute neglect. The issue is my systems are not 100% so the harvest is not great and there is a lot of animal pressure.
 
gardener
Posts: 660
Location: 5,000' 35.24N zone 7b Albuquerque, NM
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Reading this thread is very motivating to me!
Out here in New Mexico, I have a south exposure that is sunny and 65 degrees during the January day (wall heat is now 100+ in the day). Here in the sunshine I am ripping out saltbush and preparing the ground for a stacking-functions garden: 1) shade for a south wall, 2) animal habitat and food to attract birds and distract squirrels and raccoons from the family garden (doubtful but hopeful), 3) windbreak for blowing sand, 4) privacy hedge that will spread to screen multiple problem areas, 5) a source for native seeds for guerrilla gardening, and 6) food for humans.
In addition to taking out saltbush, I am making adobes by carving out the sandy ridge blown over from the neighboring horse property to reach the clay below. So far, I've removed (cut) about 100 wheel-barrows full of sand and brush to the top of an ongoing berm (fill) to reach the clay (cut) to make the adobe blocks (fill). I plan to create a low grove or thicket of native sand plum, Prunus americana, which could reach 10' or 3 meters in height. This project of making a private oasis in a difficult area has been keeping me busy since January 1st and I hope to get the sand plums in the ground by April.
 
pollinator
Posts: 221
Location: South Shore of Lake Superior
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James Sullivan wrote:

I'm planning a moon light garden of white flowers in corner somewhere. I've been told my initial spot is too close to the outhouse. So this has to be sorted out.



I can understand not wanting it 'too close' but along the way to the outhouse seems ideal for a moonlight garden! Great idea.
 
pollinator
Posts: 422
Location: New Hampshire
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Every year the garden plan includes making the garden bigger and increasing food production.  Plants, seeds, soil amendments, canning jars, lids , and chicks have been ordered or acquired for the 2022 growing season.  

The big project is to get the entire property fenced in.  Hopefully it will slow the deer down and make it easier to add more animals.  We have contracted to have the property surveyed because due to not being able to find one of the property markers.  Once we have the survey we will go fence shopping.  Luckily I don't need to get the department of making you sad involved to put up a fence.  It will most likely be a chain link fence and I plant on planting shrubs and canes all along it to make it more attractive and productive.    

More of the front yard lawn is getting turned into raised beds this spring.  The area currently has two raised beds so we will reconfigure them and add 5 more beds to that part of the lawn.  Half with be planted in perennials like herbs, strawberries, and asparagus.  The other half of the beds will be used as a close to the house kitchen garden.  

I have 6 chinquapins, 2 apple trees, and 3 peach trees coming to add to the front and side yard garden.  I also have a bunch of hazelnuts we harvested this past fall to replant.  We planted Sunchokes along the front of the property just on our side of the town's easement.  They will make nice tall sunny flowers in an area they have plenty of room to spread.  They don't spray chemicals to kill vegetation along our road so we can harvest as needed.  Every year I plan on adding more beneficial, native,  tough to kill,  edible flowers, and herbs to the space till  it out competes the grass and invasive junk that is there now.  I want it to be pretty,  productive and little work to maintain.  

Finishing the greenhouse and the raised beds in the greenhouse.    7 beds are built and 3 of them are already filled and waiting for me to plant.  The greenhouse needs electricity for the fans and vents and some work on the door so it is currently finished enough to start planting in.  I also need to build seedling tables for my main garden seed starting.   I do need to start the earliest seedlings for it this week.  These will be in my dining room for at least a month.

I have to sit down this week and make the garden plan.  I need to figure out how much of each thing to plant, where it is going to go and how often it will get planted.  It is a little overwhelming now that the garden is so large.  I prefer to be an intuitive gardener but that doesn't work so well when it comes time to harvest and preserve everything.  I need to have plan so I am not completely overwhelmed by produce come September.  I am hoping to grow 3 dozen different types of veggies this year and step up my seed saving.

I prefer to only use home grown produce for canning and fermenting so I need to make sure I have everything ripe at the same time for certain recipes.    On top of that I need to figure out how I am going to preserve it and make sure I order those supplies now so I am not scrambling in August to find jars, lids, spices, clear gel, pectin, and whatever else I need.  


 
pollinator
Posts: 239
Location: North Central Kentucky
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A feeling of overwhelm?

We moved x country in Summer 2020, and closed on the property in July.  Last year was mostly just clearing garden space, laying a bunch of wood chips down, and throwing a few things that I hoped would be low maintenance in to see how they did. I've oft lamented that I didn't initially put more effort into planting perennial food plants in our old suburban garden sooner (they were just coming into production as we sold).  So last autumn I made the decision that 2022 would be the year of the perennial.  I've never had so much space to build gardens, and hopefully by 2023 we will be in our house and my spring garden energy will be going into getting my livestock operation up and running, so now seems like the time for it.  Not giving myself an out, I ordered all of the bare root perennials already.  

Incoming, I have:
50 asparagus crowns
10 rhubarb crowns
10 thornless blackberries
10 thornless raspberries
4 hardy kiwi (3 female, 1 male)
8 apple trees
3 pear trees
6 black locust
4 red mulberry
4 sycamore
4 pawpaw
4 white pine

The non trees are going into my smaller garden area, where I'm planning to build some terraces out of trees I need to cut down, the apple and pear trees are going up on a hill on contour to form the start of an orchard, and the locust, mulberry, sycamore, pawpaw, and white pine trees are going to form a couple of "tree islands" to help convert some of our cleared hills into more of a silvopasture situation.  


I also bought better seed starting equipment, so I'm starting a lot of perennials and annual veggies (mostly tomatoes - we were never able to grow beefsteaks in the PNW with much success and it's like I've unlocked a new level out here).  By the time June rolls around I'll be ready for a break!  
 
Posts: 28
Location: Belgium, alkaline clay along the Escaut river
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Absolute first thing for me ... Slug control.
Multiple toad shelters have been set this autumn, a small brush pile on the edge of "far west zone" and two ponds dug either side of the garden.
A toad has been spotted this morning. Crossing fingers.

I hope my neighbours will forgive me.
 
Kate Muller
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Oliver Huynh wrote:Absolute first thing for me ... Slug control.
Multiple toad shelters have been set this autumn, a small brush pile on the edge of "far west zone" and two ponds dug either side of the garden.
A toad has been spotted this morning. Crossing fingers.

I hope my neighbours will forgive me.



We added a natural swimming  pond to our garden a couple of years ago and 4 different frogs, one type of toad and salamanders have moved in.  The bees use it for water due to the shallow pea gravel filled edge.  Quite a few types of dragonflies also use the pond for breeding.  This tiny work force has reduced my slugs, mosquitos,  and cabbage moth populations.  We will be adding more small garden ponds to the property to expand this work force.  
 
pollinator
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FENCING:  one hitch with chain link is it will need to be at least 6 ft high (higher if you get snow or are on a slope) and will stop nothing but deer, dog and possibly domestic cat.  Animals like fox, raccoon large weasel will climb it, squirrel, rabbit, small weasel and others will go through it. Second hitch is it is not a visual barrier, so the animals can SEE what is on the other side, and that alone may well be enough for them to look for ways to bypass it.  My end project ended up just over 6 feet, so those with reg's limiting height will likely get away with it; if you are worried, trench a bit.

My personal solution was to use 8 foot metal chain link poles, pounded (no cement or concrete) two feet into the ground, then I used screwed on 12 ft metal roofing panels, three poles per panel, as I ran the panels lengthwise, and stacked them one on top of the other.  New, here, the panels run around $35 per 12 x 3ish foot panels.  Total cost (including poles at $10 each and screws) about $100 for 12 feet - or $8 - $9 per linear foot, six feet high.  If you don't care about color, the odd dent and old screw holes, USED metal roofing can often be had for free; then it is just the cost of screws, poles and labor.

This creates a VERY solid, no maintenance fence that is climb proof, a visual barrier, and should last at least 50 years.  The key, in my opinion, is to NOT run the metal panels 'up and down' but rather, lengthwise; increased strength, less support required, longer runs, fewer seams.  

Around here, everyone is now using these panels 'up and down' attached to wood framing, with concreted wooden posts; this to me defeats the benefits of metal roofing, as the wood can still rot (even if pressure treated with noxious chemicals), and be used by all sorts of critters to scale the fence.  PLUS, you still have to dig huge holes, fill them with concrete, brace the posts; and THEN you would have to add top, bottom and middle wooden cross pieces to create the wooden frame to support the metal panels.  I will say, this is possibly more 'aesthetically pleasing', and it is much easier to screw the metal panels to the wood, but that is it, as far as the wood frame/metal panel method used by most, in my experience.

I used zero wood, concrete, paint or stain.  Just the metal posts, pounded into the ground, and screwed directly to the posts.  In some places I did use tiny metal screws to tack the top and bottom layers at the middle seam together due to poor application and a not perfect fit between panels, but that was an installation/alignment issue, and not necessary for most of the fence.  

If money is no object, you can get the fencing in a myriad of colors...but for me that would have increased my cost by $15 per sheet.  If possible, do not get the shiny silver; my first order was, more of a "frosted" steel, the second order came shiny, I don't like it, the frosted 'reads' more grey, and is 'softer'; BUT that is my personal preference, the shiny might be better for reflecting light in an enclosed garden plot...

Do not dismiss the no maintenance aspect of this style - that means never having to paint, or deal with wood rot!  So although wood is renewable, it is labor intensive, and often involves nasty chemicals or regular application of nasty paint/stain.  At least metal will last, well, if not 'forever' for a very long, long time - so long as the posts are sufficiently deep.  This solid fence will deter all animals (excepting the diggers; but you can also trench and bury this if diggers are an issue), including the '2 footed' variety.  A nifty side benefit, is in smaller areas, such as around gardens, it creates a micro climate, not unlike the walled gardens of old estates, way back when.  By limiting the wind, and likely the reflection of the metal, it can make for a VERY happy garden.  

Ten years previously, I had tacked on junk poles to the existing 4 foot wood, picket fence and screwed old, junk roofing panels to the top half as a temporary patch job to deal with the neighbors dog - surprisingly, this lasted over ten years, despite the rotting wood.  I mention this because EVERYONE told me using metal roofing as I now have, would never work, due to wind pressure, and that it would act as a "sail" and be pushed down.  Now, we may not get constant, hurricane force winds but we do get many storms with winds in excess of 75 km, and the gusts over 100 are a regular occurrence.

It can be somewhat awkward to hold such a long panel up, whilst screwing (and is definitely a two person job), but for me, it meant fewer poles to pound in, and when you are doing 500 feet of fence, there is a huge difference when spacing is every four feet or every six feet.  

***panel hack:  use a hex head 1/4 inch metal screw (same size as the roofing screw) to pre drill into the metal post, THEN use the proper metal roofing screw...attaching the panels is too hard without predrilling, and the metal roofing screw are simply not designed to drill into metal poles; drill bits just snap, no matter what they are made from, trust me on this!
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Kate Muller
pollinator
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I hadn't considered using metal roofing for fencing.  What a brilliant idea.
 
pollinator
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Location: Western MA, zone 6b
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I am hoping to push my backyard fence to the front of the house on one side, creating a sideyard for an 8x10 greenhouse!  

Otherwise this year will be a lot of sitting back watching all my young plants and bushes grow and just observing progress.   I'm adding betony to my herbs for tea.  
 
gardener
Posts: 1958
Location: British Columbia
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Ah! I have a few projects to say the least!
- Propagation of my elderberry, raspberry, grapes, and other vines
- Create guilds and living mulch for my fruit trees
- Establish a market garden at my sister's property including 2 massive raised beds and a Hugel (She has raised beds already)
- New Raised Beds at my place
- Insect hotels and 'garden cylinders' to create habitat for insects that are protected from my chickens
- New fencing that isn't galvanized! (upcycled fence in the back from ripping out our deck, pallet fence for my strawberry patch, living fence to deter deer)
- Build a new greenhouse at my sister's and tear up the stupid stupid stupid tarps in the garden pathways that where meant to suppress weeds but they suck in so many ways...
- New pig shelter with rotational forage
- Electric poultry netting so I can move around the mobile coop on my sisters property
- Upgrade my sisters coop to a deep mulch system.

I know this is a lot but I REALLY REALLY want to build a solar dehydrator. I ended up giving away a lot of my fruit last season because I couldn't process it. My friend returned some of it to me dried, and I LOVED IT! So I made a promise to myself to build one of these:

https://permies.com/t/solar-dehydrator

I already purchased the plans. I think it's going to be well worth it for how much I can save on food over the winter ; both my husband and I eat so much dried fruit!
 
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I am closing in my world.  Fewer plants of everything.  Shorter rows.  Less production.  Reduced experimentation.  More garden space idle and in fallow.  I am aging and it is time to just focus on my needs for the most part.  No more extra produce given to layabouts and freeloaders, most of it will now go on the compost pile instead.  No more free shit for people who are perfectly capable of doing it themselves, but are too lazy or preoccupied with the meaningless, useless trivialities that take up all the free time in their daily lives (for me there is no such thing as "free time", for the most part it does not exist for me and I am the happier for it).

I will continue to barter with my established connections for protein and dairy, otherwise I will be trading labor for produce especially for able-bodied people.  No work, no food.  The only exception is the local elderly or disabled or disabled veterans, who I will help as long as I am physically able to because I respect them and I consider them to be the few in our society who truly deserve assistance.  Am I jaded with what I consider the obvious decline of modern society?  Absolutely, and I have had enough of it.  Time for other people to step up and do their part, I am no longer participating.

I am a numbers and records and data kind of guy.  I went back into my records and I am shocked by the numbers.  I have produced a MINIMUM of 30 tons of high quality, nutritious food in the last forty years, 90% of it all by myself.  At least 50% of that food I have given away for free.  So before criticizing me for my attitude I must ask, what have you done?
 
gardener
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Last year I abandoned almost all of my garden, except for a fish pond which I created. I learned a lot about aquaculture and I only focused on a tiny area around that pond (really small one).

This year the pond will need much less attention, and my plan is to get serious and grow edible plants and actually eat them. Last year a lot of tree fruits went to the compost pile or whatever. Snails were getting fat eating my strawberries. Not this year!
Although snails will probably seize strawberries again. But not all of them!!
 
pollinator
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I am going to put an end to one plum tree that has suffered myriad ailments and never actually produced a plum, I do feel bad to see it go, though. But it will make room for the two columnar apple trees I ordered, and also make a sunnier spot for one of the heritage corn varieties I want to plant.

This will be the year I get good at corn. I will dedicate more of the garden space to the "three sisters" and their cousin sunflower, and cut back on space devoted to cucumbers and root crops for this year. I have some seeds for Miami and Potawatomi varieties of corn, beans, and squash that I hope will do well in their native soil.

Also should be able to harvest some hopniss/groundnut/apios this year. Another food crop native to the midwest.

For springtime, I already have the garlic and strawberries in place since last year, and saved seed from the Chinese stem lettuce I planted last year. Hope the multiplier onions do their thing and multiply.
 
pollinator
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Ashley Cottonwood wrote:Ah! I have a few projects to say the least!

- Build a new greenhouse at my sister's and tear up the stupid stupid stupid tarps in the garden pathways that where meant to suppress weeds but they suck in so many ways...

I know this is a lot but I REALLY REALLY want to build a solar dehydrator. I ended up giving away a lot of my fruit last season because I couldn't process it. My friend returned some of it to me dried, and I LOVED IT! So I made a promise to myself to build one of these:


https://permies.com/t/solar-dehydrator

I already purchased the plans. I think it's going to be well worth it for how much I can save on food over the winter ; both my husband and I eat so much dried fruit!



Ashley, if you/your sister have access to woodchips, the pathways I have had great success with in terms of low maintenance are deep woodchip (8-12"). There are very few, if any, seeds to grow weeds in the pathways, and they are super easy to pull. The removed soil adds to adjacent beds. The chips can be easily topped up, and it's nice to walk on! Not slippery or muddy in the rain, no morning dew to get your shoes/cuffs wet like with grass pathways...

I also want to build the dehydrator... I think I even have enough shower door glass saved up! ;-p
 
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Bootcamp. That's about it unless Paul kicks me out, in which case we'll see!
 
Jay Angler
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Kyle Clawson wrote:Bootcamp. That's about it unless Paul kicks me out, in which case we'll see!

Think positively, and start getting lots of exercise of all sorts so your body is ready for the challenge!  I won't say, "good luck" as that suggests personal integrity and hard work aren't the important part! I will say, "learn lots" because from what I understand, that's what Bootcamp is all about.
 
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This is the fourth year of permaculture gardening for me and I am really excited. In the past I have built garden beds, learning to grow foods, planting trees and bushes, trying out different techniques. Although my goal is firm since the beginning, which is to build healthy soil, my practices were quite random and chaotic, without a clear blueprint to follow. Finally, I feel this year I am connecting the dots into a picture.  

Now I have several areas for different purposes and will use different techniques.

1) 20 by 20 veggie garden. Last year I produced lots of food for my family and extra to share. This year I am going to emphasize on better timing of different crops to maximize yields. Also I am hoping to further reduce irrigation from 700 gallons in the hottest months with mulching and polyculture. Try vertical gardening to use the garden space efficiently.

2) I have a couple dozen fruit trees and berry bushes, some store bought, some grown from seeds and some propagated. They are finally getting established after 2-3 years.  One of them is a seed-grown peach tree in its third growing season, now loaded with flower buds. I can't wait to see the flowers and peaches!  I built guilds around them with herbs and flowers.

3) fodder patches here and there in awkward spots. They are collections of plants that my chickens like to eat such as sunchokes, sorghum, beans and rye. They will also serve the roles of soil building, biomass production and privacy screening. I also don't plan on watering them.

4) the boundries of the three aren't quite distinct, I may put an okra by a tree or grow herbs next to the veggies. I also collected lots of native wild flower seeds and get familiar with their blooming times, colors and habitats. I am grouping them so there is long continues blooming time to make the yard look good and feed the pollinators.

5) soil has improved significantly, especially in the veggie garden. I am following the suggestions in jon stika's book and steer towards building soil with plants and reducing inputs from outside.

I can't believe I have done so much and changed the 1/10 acre of barren land. Thanks Permie!

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What I started with in 2019
What I started with in 2019
 
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My big garden goal this year is to be less ambitious. It is our third growing season on a large urban lot we plan to be on long term and I have lots of longer term goals and plans and dreams for this space. I feel pretty good about what we've done in the past two growing seasons but the garden areas are still fairly small and I want to keep expanding them and reducing the amount of lawn we need to maintain but a prior owner didn't like the slope of the lot and apparently dumped a huge amount of fill to level some of it out and most of it is primarily rocks. So any expansion of garden and planting spaces is a lot of physical labor and/or purchased inputs. Additionally, the property was abandoned for several years before we moved here and some of the more opportunistic plants (bindweed, wild grape, climbing bittersweet, virginia creeper, japanese knotweed, and garlic mustard) are quite enthusiastic and not super willing to share or give up the spaces they have claimed, so that's also a process (though I do try to find ways to utilize these plants and work with them instead of trying to get rid of them completely). Last year we bought some perennials and I always start a lot of annuals and perennials from seed and a lot of them did not make it into the ground, which was a little heartbreaking.

So this growing season I'm trying to scale back my expectations and plans a lot. My health/body is very sensitive to changes in physical activity - so if I gradually build up to doing more hours of gardening or other physical labor and then continue to do it consistently, I usually function pretty well, but if it rains for a week (not uncommon in my area) then is supposed to be nice for a day and then rain again more and then I try to get out in that good weather window and do several hours of work when I haven't for a bit, it causes problems. I'm still figuring out how to manage this but if anyone has a similar experience or suggestions (other than trying to find indoor exercises/activities that are close enough to what I do outside to not cause my body to see the gardening as a big change) I'd love to hear them.

So that said, my primary focus this year is going to be on maintaining current plantings and garden areas and doing whatever I can to reduce overall maintenance needed, including lots of mulching and trying out more cover/smother crops. Reducing the size of the lawn would really reduce the amount of routine maintenance needed but then I have to decide what to do with the space that won't add back the same amount of labor or even more. At this point that's likely going to look like mulching with cardboard, leaves, woodchips, or whatever else we have available and then maybe planting some divisions of plants I already have that don't need much maintenance but also will look at least semi-decent for the neighbors and have some functions I want, likely stuff like creeping thyme, lemon balm, yarrow, etc. If I have extra time and energy, then I think my secondary focus will be on building soil and preparing areas for future plantings.

I'm still enjoying looking at all the beautiful seed catalogs and nursery websites but pretty committed to not purchasing much of anything this year (so far, one pack of chamomile seed). I think I will probably start a few things from seed still, but again, really trying to scale back on that and be realistic about what space is available and the limitations on my time and energy to maintain them. We'll see how it goes!
 
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Plant, build and experiment.

I've officially ran out of room for more beds in my garden area and the bed in the backyard isn't enough so the big thing will be fencing off a new garden area.  Luckily my hubby received 300' of fencing in a trade recently and we should have enough posts without buying more.  While I'm usually a "jump right in with both feet" kind of person, the new garden area will  be layered with cardboard and sheet mulched this year.  I plan to grow potatoes, pumpkins and melons in it this year as they will have plenty of room to spread out.  My goal is to form raised beds in the fall or early spring next year and hopefully get started on the market garden.  I'm also attempting to turn a metal building frame into a greenhouse though I don't forsee having it ready to use before fall.   My goal is to have a growing bed along one side and benches for starting seeds on the other.  I'd also like to incorporate a cold frame into it as well but with the way I'm thinking of positioning the greenhouse, the ideal spot would be in the very end and awkward to get to.  Growing some "new to me" crops and experimenting with new ways to grow those I'm already familiar with.  My goal is to maximize space and extend the season as much as possible.

We had a large tree taken down near our house and what was once my shade garden will now be in full sun, so lots of plants will need to be moved as soon as possible.  I've picked up 12x12 pavers on clearance for three years in a row and now have enough to build a patio off of the small deck in the back.  Also scored some free brick that will be used in the patio as well but it will take two more trips to get it all here.  We will be tearing down an old outbuilding and possibly using the salvageable lumber to build a potting shed/playhouse for my daughter.  The chicken house is currently being used as a garden shed and needs some repairs/improvements.  I'd like to get chickens again but the coyotes are rampant here.  I have some really old roofing tin that is rusty and full of holes and planning to use it and metal posts to create a compost bay.

So I have a rambling (and likely incomplete) list for this year.  My biggest challenge is that my body is middle-aged and my mind still thinks it's in its 20s.
 
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Due to food prices I planted way more this year than normal. I also made a few changes.
I have a hard time bending down far enough to properly check plants for squash bugs so I planted in large pots. Friends, this is the way to go! I also planted hybrid yellow squash for the first time. With a little planning I’ll finish three generations of plants in before our first frost.
I also planted sweet potatoes in large, unfinished compost piles. The soil here is pretty bad and this work’s really well.
 
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HI, I thought everything was going great. I had made 2 new raised beds and found more large planters. The plants in them were growing very well until 2 weeks ago when a family of groundhogs found my yard. Now it looks as if a hurricane has hit. I beefed up the fencing on the main vegi patch and put plywood in place of the gates. This has slowed the destruction down some. I have put a haveahart trap out by the garden but so far no success. So I guess this is karma for getting to proud of my garden. Any one know of a way to get rid of groundhogs? This is not the best time of year to catch them-very early spring is, when they first wake up and are looking for anything to eat. So if I can't catch them this I will try next feb/march.
 
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My sympathies, j flynn, my mother fought groundhogs for years (and I was the hired gun), in the end the groundhog won.

I am in winter (garden full of winter greens and peas, just harvested kumquats, and have tomatoes under cover), about to go away for two months, and planning for what the spring garden will be when I come back.
I am considering ripping out everything and redigging/deep mulching while I'm gone in one bed that just flat out refuses to produce (last year was the saddest okra you've ever seen). I can't really mulch due to slugs/snails, and because I run a polyculture model I never have an entirely fallow bed, so this will be something new if I do it.
Like everyone else, I'm dealing with weird weather. Last year we had no corn, no beans (NONE.), no mulberries, and no peas in the spring. This winter peas look good so far (fingers crossed) so I'm hoping to get good summer beans; I've pruned the berry trees so I hope we'll get some, they are my favorite. The winter beans look like they have some sort of fungus, I'm trying to keep up with natural spraying options but it doesn't look good. I really just plant them for fun but I'm not thrilled with the ongoing bean failures (3 years now, it's been bad, growing in the warm and cold weather).

I also am dealing with new patterns at my paid work job and hopefully will have more garden time, which means more big projects. Redoing the terrace structure? Redoing the edges of the beds? Prettying up the place a bit? All are possible.
 
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Ok, so far, so good! I'm making slow but steady progress.

This spring/summer I have...

Planted a bunch of fruit trees and windrow plants. Meader persimmon, Nikita's gift persimmon, Coco jujube,  Blackgold cherry, All-in-one almond, rosa rugosa, hawthorn, elderberry, staghorn sumac, aronia, arbequina olive, thornless caper, Roger's red grape, raspberry.

The hedgerow plants did not fair so well on my rocky, hot bank. The hawthorn never leafed out (not a huge surprise). The aronia and elderberry made valiant attempts through deer and rabbit pressure, but finally choked out in early June because of our scalding high-elevation sun (sadly right before monsoon kicked in). The staghorn sumac powered through like a champ, so I will be propagating it to expand along the bank,  and maybe it will be a good nurse plant.  I could also replant something now because monsoon, in my experience, is a great time to plant here. Of course,  it's not easy to get plants this time of year.  I wonder how a grapevine would do on that bank. Hmm. The raspberry never leafed out.  I can't plant anything too tall there because of power lines overhead.

My other loss was the cherry, which was the second attempt.  We really wanted a cherry in our people-space "zen garden" that isn't very zen yet. They do great in early spring, but late May and early June are killer, despite any amount of watering and mulching. I know of a good handful of people successfully growing cherries here, and chose a variety that's supposed to do well, but I think our zen garden space is just too hot. So now we're thinking of putting another persimmon or another almond there instead.  Those are growing great with minimal care. I'm leaning towards the almond since we already have 2 persimmons, but I'm not sure if almond will crop well here, so it could end up being a non-productive tree.

Everything else is flourishing, so though it sounds like a lot of loss, I feel pretty good about it,  given our climate and animal pressure.  Most of the lost plants were less expensive ones,  too.

Terracing the side... I ended up putting in just one terrace on contour (so far) using a simple check log system.  Planting it has been a struggle in full sun, but now that monsoon has kicked in, it's making headway.  Water is still going through it, but once it gets established, I think it will help with the erosion.  I'm not done with that area,  yet.  Can't plant trees there because of gas lines, which makes it hard.  I managed to get a nice order of vetiver in early May, which of course is the very wrong time for planting here,  but I thought I'd try anyway.  So  I planted plugs all along the back of the first terrace to begin creating a second terrace. Only about 1/4 of the plugs have survived despite watering 2x a day, but those are doing well. I also knew better than to put all my eggs in one basket, so I have additional plugs I saved back to propogate that are doing great in large pots. I may even have some to fill in this fall,  but we'll see what the late fall weather looks like.  I also plan to add some vetiver along the ridge as part of the hedgerow. I'm also a little nervous about getting it to overwinter here.  It should take our temps alright,  but if the ground stays too cold it will be a problem.  I'll make sure to mulch like crazy. In the terrace bed I have rosemary and lavender doing well. Pinks got pulled up by something and look dead now. Iceplant has been eaten back to almost nothing (I think that might have been my chickens). Crocosmia is struggling through. Shasta daisies are struggling through.  Salvia has been eaten. Mixed flower seeds got eaten. Lol. There might be a trend here.  It's a hard spot.

I finally put a temporary fence along one side of the yard using cattle panel... just part of the battle to keep the chickens from adventuring too far. I just transplanted some sunchokes along it.  Still need to close up a gap in the back wall, and put a barrier along the other side, which is harder because of the terrain.

I've been digging out the swales. We've been blessed with an early and strong monsoon. It's been raining every day for a couple of weeks now.  Absolutely amazing. But my swales are filling with debris and lovely silt, so I'm scooping it out onto the berm side. Still have a lot to go.

Food garden: Tomatoes are doing well despite losing many to munchers. I planted way more seeds than needed.  None of my artichoke seedlings made it but have planted out more seeds directly, now. Transplanted out some asparagus seedlings.  Amaranth is looking so pretty and getting seed heads. Mullein ground cover is the best here.  Chimayo chiles are starting to produce. Sunchokes and garlic chives look great. Have one michihili cabbage that's surprisingly ignoring the heat. And I have a ton of smallish seedlings. So many things got a late start, having been planted and replanted. Our hot, dry, windy late spring is so hard on veg babies. But up with the last few weeks, I have some new things I'm excited about including 1 surviving Neimat's batir eggplant (transplant from earlier), at least one jyunpuku bitter melon, a ton of astronomy domine sweet corn and Hopi purple flour corn, beit alpha cucs, tankuro soybean, hopefully some python snake bean in there, spotted bee balm, and who knows what else. It's a little late,  but we have a decent season length, so I'm really hoping to get some good stuff out of this yet.  This may sound like a sad amount to those of you growing in decent conditions,  but I'm really pleased that things are doing well (for here). Our climate, and my site in particular, is sooo challenging.
So anything that survives is a plus.

I have not yet gotten around to the nesting boxes, and I'm way behind on propogation, so need to step up my game. I keep reading about all these little ponds you all are creating, and now I have pond envy. Maybe I could make a tiny one? I have solid rock about 2 feet down, so I'll need to get creative.

Not sure this has much to do with permies, but I've started processing my own clay to feed my pottery habit. I don't have a kiln, which has mostly stopped me from doing work for a number of years (I'm really a cone 10 potter at heart), but I'm thinking about doing some primitive firings now that fire restrictions should be easing.  Processing natural clay FEELS permie, anyway.

Hope I didn't miss anything, though I'm sure I probably did.


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Michihili pushing through the heat
Michihili pushing through the heat
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Pomegranate I planted last year blooming
Pomegranate I planted last year blooming
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A pot of tomatoes saved back for my mom in front of serviceberry guild (amaranth, tomatoes, Egyptian onions, bee balm, lupine, kale, purslane, etc.)
A pot of tomatoes saved back for my mom in front of serviceberry guild (amaranth, tomatoes, Egyptian onions, bee balm, lupine, kale, purslane, etc.)
 
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As is the norm in gardening some things have gone really well and some things could be better. Looking back on what I was excited for in the spring and responding to it is a great practice. I keep meaning to start a garden journal but I never get around to it. At least next season I'll have this little update to look back on.

Jori Love wrote:I can't wait to garden this season! It's my last season here before I move and I'm determined to make it my best yet. Some of the things I'm excited about are:

1. More dahlias. Is 50 plants too many? I think not. Last year I was able to keep my friends in fresh bouquets for a couple months and fill my own home with flowers.

2. A new to me tomato variety called Annarita that is supposed to store up to 6 months on the vine. We grew a huge chunk of our food last year but struggled to process and store it. I'm hoping this one will be happy hanging in a cool, dark laundry room.

3. A mostly weed free garden at the end of the season. I know this sounds picky, but it's because new gardeners are more likely to join the community garden if the plots seem ready to go. Two years ago I dug all four of my plots out from under a combination of grass, thistle, and bindweed, and added manure/woodchips/cardboard and I'm excited to pass it on to the next person.

4. Hosting a seed swap. I'm trying to build more community in the community garden. It's been challenging the last couple years since we've had no events so this spring I'm going to plan a seed swap to get everyone connected early. Plus people give me extra seeds which I start and then share with gardeners who get plots later in the season.



I'm in the PNW so I've had a very cold, wet spring. Evenings were still below 40F/4C into mid-June which means the squash/tomatoes/dahlias took a hit. The squash have yet to take off so we'll see if we get any or if we're going to eat a lot of dry beans and nothing else this winter. The dahlias and tomatoes have bounced back though and I think they'll produce earlier for me this year.

Funny enough, I somehow forgot to plant the tomato that I was most excited about, Annarita. I realized it near the end of May and nearly fell over laughing at my scatterbrain. I'll have to report back on this tomato next year (if I remember to plant it).

I'm still keeping up with the weeds, although I will do everything in my power to find a garden that has no bindweed in the future. A master gardener recently suggested that I use a paintbrush to apply herbicide to it, but that is against both the community garden rules and my own garden beliefs. It reminded me why I don't ask for help from Master Gardeners very often.

I only managed to get one person to come out for my seed swap but that was ok. We had a ton of fun, traded lots of seeds, and spent time catching up. I started keeping a little notebook on me when I'm at the community garden and writing down people's names with an identifying characteristic. Going up to them, saying hi, and using their name has made a world of difference in building community there. Now people stop by my plot all the time to chat and ask questions. I've given away all of my extra starts and gardeners have shared with me when they have something in abundance.

In other good garden news I participated in a mustard greens trial through the Seed Savers Exchange ADAPT program this year. I like doing it because it helps them evaluate varieties, I get free seeds, and I find it fun to taste test and experiment with new varieties. This cold, wet spring was perfect for mustard greens (and all greens really).
 
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Fencing!

I need to do something different about my fencing needs.

I have always had deer, but the better my garden soil has gotten, the more attractive it’s veggies have become to deer.  I used to be able to grow a garden with no fence at all—NO MORE!

A couple of years ago I built a set of gates that rested on the edge of one of my raised garden beds.  It was nice in that I could lift out any 8’ section to get access to the bed itself.  It was a lot of work and more money than I wanted to spend (about $100 for 1 bed!  All the fasteners drove up the cost and I didn’t realize this till I was well into the project).

With that in mind I made a quick, cheap fence out of chicken wire and cheap T-posts.  It works fine but I have to straddle a 4’ fence to get in, which I can do but it takes a toll on the fence.

I am at the point where I am going to put a fence around both beds and leave space for me to work and of course a gate.  I probably won’t get this done till fall though.

Eric
 
Jay Angler
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Eric Hanson wrote:Fencing!  It was nice in that I could lift out any 8’ section to get access to the bed itself.  It was a lot of work and more money than I wanted to spend (about $100 for 1 bed!  All the fasteners drove up the cost and I didn’t realize this till I was well into the project).

Lack of fencing and the cost of decent fencing are big show stoppers on my farm! Four feet of chicken wire doesn't do it on my land. I've got a couple of areas protected by plastic snow fencing with bamboo branches sticking out the top to stop the deer from just jumping it, but the only good thing I can say about it was that it was free.

Take my advice or leave it, Eric - plan your fence to be good for you and good for your long-term gardening pleasure and efficiency. I'm tired of spending my time with temporary fixes - I want and need Fort Knox to cope with the pressure here, if for no other reason, all the wealthy people are doing exactly that, which increases the pressure on my less well protected garden. Yes, quality fencing costs big bucks - in my climate we regularly splurge on Stainless fasteners because everything else rusts, and yes, you generally need a lot of them and they're expensive. If you've got lots of land and don't mind the look of pallets or junk poles, they're a great renewable resource, but most of the places I'm gardening need all the sun you can get and both those cheap options block the light.
 
Michelle Heath
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Michelle Heath wrote:Plant, build and experiment.

I've officially ran out of room for more beds in my garden area and the bed in the backyard isn't enough so the big thing will be fencing off a new garden area.  Luckily my hubby received 300' of fencing in a trade recently and we should have enough posts without buying more.  While I'm usually a "jump right in with both feet" kind of person, the new garden area will  be layered with cardboard and sheet mulched this year.  I plan to grow potatoes, pumpkins and melons in it this year as they will have plenty of room to spread out.  My goal is to form raised beds in the fall or early spring next year and hopefully get started on the market garden.  I'm also attempting to turn a metal building frame into a greenhouse though I don't forsee having it ready to use before fall.   My goal is to have a growing bed along one side and benches for starting seeds on the other.  I'd also like to incorporate a cold frame into it as well but with the way I'm thinking of positioning the greenhouse, the ideal spot would be in the very end and awkward to get to.  Growing some "new to me" crops and experimenting with new ways to grow those I'm already familiar with.  My goal is to maximize space and extend the season as much as possible.

We had a large tree taken down near our house and what was once my shade garden will now be in full sun, so lots of plants will need to be moved as soon as possible.  I've picked up 12x12 pavers on clearance for three years in a row and now have enough to build a patio off of the small deck in the back.  Also scored some free brick that will be used in the patio as well but it will take two more trips to get it all here.  We will be tearing down an old outbuilding and possibly using the salvageable lumber to build a potting shed/playhouse for my daughter.  The chicken house is currently being used as a garden shed and needs some repairs/improvements.  I'd like to get chickens again but the coyotes are rampant here.  I have some really old roofing tin that is rusty and full of holes and planning to use it and metal posts to create a compost bay.

So I have a rambling (and likely incomplete) list for this year.  My biggest challenge is that my body is middle-aged and my mind still thinks it's in its 20s.



Wow!  Things didn't exactly go the way I anticipated three months ago.  The idea of just sheet mulching the new garden this year fell through when I realized I needed more room for tomatoes.   Was able to scrounge up enough concrete blocks to make a 4'x10' bed.  My husband lucked upon a pile of free used blocks and we managed to grab enough for two more beds.  The downside is removing the mortar but when I calculated the cost of new blocks it seems we saved over $150.  

Still trying to decide where to place the greenhouse and the patio idea will have to wait as the garden takes up most of my time now.  The outbuilding is still standing as the poison ivy leafed out before we could get a start on it.  The tin I planned using for the compost bin was too far gone but found some metal sheets that came from a outbuilding at my in-laws that the wind destroyed, so I did get the bin finished.

Oh and my mind is finally starting to realize that my body is getting older.  Not to say that I'm not doing as much as I always did, but that I'm actually doing things smarter like make two trips than attempting to haul/carry everything in one.
 
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Good Afternoon, Wonderful People!
Or, more traditionally for me, Howdy!

Man, this has been the most interesting year in my (granted very short and immensely faulty) memory for gardening and plants in any type of fashion.
I got a late start in this year's gardening because Life Happened. I had planned, with all the optimism allowed, to have *at least* two new garden beds (roughly 4 x 8ft) dug and planted, the older beds refurbished and probably adjusted to being a little more regular in shape and with walkways for free movement instead of the weird sidling I had to do previously, and some new fruit trees. Fig and persimmon, maybe some pawpaw and/or pecan. I had planned on having all of that on order, with the new beds ready to go for annuals and tender perennials for April. May at the latest.
There were diagrams and paper sketches, lists and lists and lists, and more diagrams for different beds in different areas of the garden.
Life Happened last year and blew things out of the water.
Life Happened some more this Spring and, while I was able to start seedlings, my plans were for naught.

I got a small area dug up and planted just last week. Like about 3x3. I put a sad tomato, 2 sad peppers, and a sad eggplant at the corners of the plot, then put a Very Excited and Happy To Be Here sweet potato in the center. I ended up replacing the tomato and initial peppers with other sad peppers. The eggplant is still coughing and wheezing but should survive. The newest peppers are still trying to decide on their motivations, and at least one of them has already decided on an artsy exit.
The sweet potato will grow as long as I keep the swamp rabbits away. They've already pruned it where they could reach it. so I spent two days putting up some low fencing of 4-foot T-posts and 2-foot high chicken wire (it's not a huge area; it's a very weak human and very hard ground.). So far, so good.

In a separate roughly 3x3 ft area, adjacent, I was able to plant another eggplant, two near-dead yellow yams, a vibrant sweet potato, and another pepper. I filled in the back of that with the remains of the yams, sweet potatoes, and other tubers I had picked up from an Asian grocery. The rabbits climbed onto the porch to chow down on those and managed to block the front door so my husband had to pulp the remnants of a Japanese yam to leave for work. It was *that* kind of a day.
Yes, I am overplanting everything. I'm at a point where, if it grows I will love it, but if it dies I just have that much more organic stuff in the soil for the Fall planting. Which I will be starting in two weeks.

So. The newly revised and probably much more realistic garden will be a total of 4 roughly 3x3 plots. I will plant beans, squash, okra, onions, garlic, and a variety of flowers and herbs in whatever places look like I'll be able to plant them and have the ground support life. I have spots in the yard where I put in a pseudo-hugel some time ago and planted squash, so I will revisit those areas and plant something. I have one bed more or less prepared now, and two clay flowerpots buried to their lips so that I can water the plants when August hits. Squash or something similar will go there.  
Mint will go in the shade between the briar-entangled bay laurel and the poison ivy-infested live oak. I figure the mint vs poison ivy battle is a good one. I might plant some prickly pear there just because I feel mean.
Rosemary, lemongrass, and maybe some sage, thyme, and marjoram will go into the yard and be designated The Herb Bed by default. Putting things into the dirt, just digging holes and putting them there, is my current strategy. Anything fancier will come later when I have the bodily strength to use a shovel properly.

DA is getting into the spirit of the thing, if only because digging and weeding and stuff is better PT than anything else and seeds are cheaper than the fuel to go to and from town. He even cut the fence to allow the chickens into a section of the yard they haven't gleaned, yet. Happy chickens, happy me.
I'm planning for next year. That will be an amazing garden! I will have composted chicken poop, a lasagna garden that wasn't torn up by Momma Hen and her Surprise! chicks, and whatever beds are created by my refusal to cater to the whims of Fate. Next year will be AWESOME!
 
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Jori Love wrote:As is the norm in gardening some things have gone really well and some things could be better. Looking back on what I was excited for in the spring and responding to it is a great practice. I keep meaning to start a garden journal but I never get around to it...

In other good garden news I participated in a mustard greens trial through the Seed Savers Exchange ADAPT program this year. I like doing it because it helps them evaluate varieties, I get free seeds, and I find it fun to taste test and experiment with new varieties. This cold, wet spring was perfect for mustard greens (and all greens really).



I do the ADAPT program too. It's a lot of fun to try new varieties and encourages mire to get out in the garden regularly to take pictures and evaluate how things are growing. Then I naturally take note of my own seeds and how they are growing too. This is my fourth year participating. I'm just finishing up with some radish varieties. And I'm growing some cabbages, bush beans, peppers, cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, and eggplant for them. (I didn't ask for the mustard greens since I'm not a fan!)

My warm weather plants are so tiny from the cold spring but hopefully they will speed up as it finally gets warmer. I'm not to upset about the reduced hot growing season because I'm growing one of each plant in pots in my driveway so I can bring them inside in the fall and hopefully get fruit no matter what.

The rest of my garden is disappointing me this year. The weird weather stressed out my plants and a lot of them are suffering from disease and pests when they've never had issues before. I'm afraid I've lost at least three trees. Some neighbors look like they have trees dying too.
20220627_111324.jpg
My (hopefully) perennial solanacea garden. The black plastic is being used to kill grass in the driveway so it stupid growing into my garden.
My (hopefully) perennial solanaceae garden. The black plastic is being used to kill grass in the driveway so it stops growing into my garden.
 
Kristine Keeney
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Addendum.
The one great thing from the weird weather this Spring was the extended mulberry season I had. I was able to put up 10 pints of mulberry jelly and have at least 2 quarts of frozen mulberries. The chickens got their fill, too.
 
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I had a really ambitious garden plan this year.  We bought a new place last August in a new part of the country.  There was a 1/2 acre goat paddock I declared my new garden plot.  Short growing season.  I started rototilling, etc. early.  Jumped the gun way too early planting and I've been fighting weeds all spring (bindweed is a bitch).  Finally realized I needed to rototill several times at 90 degrees to keep it at a manageable level.  Now I'm focusing on about 1/2 the paddock, rototilling, hoing every few days and letting things bake dry for a while before trying to plant.  It seems to be working.  I will end up with potatoes, maybe a 3 sisters crop, pinto beans, and some of my bush and tree starts have survived and I will be able to get apple and stonefruit rootstock coming back every year.  

I just got buck fever (bean fever?) and started trying to get things in the ground way too early.  you know how it is.  Weather's warm, forcast seems good, and you think "I'm going to go for it!"  My neighbors told me later that no one can get the garden going until memorial day.  Lesson learned!

My plan is to get lots of fruit trees and bushes going in my 1/2 acre and transplant them to the 2 acres I bought this spring behind the house.  

Next year I will do much better.  I will probably make a whole set of new mistakes, but they shouldn't be as expensive as the mistakes I made this year.
 
Kristine Keeney
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Mick Fisch wrote:I had a really ambitious garden plan this year.  We bought a new place last August in a new part of the country.  There was a 1/2 acre goat paddock I declared my new garden plot.  Short growing season.  I started rototilling, etc. early.  Jumped the gun way too early planting and I've been fighting weeds all spring (bindweed is a bitch).  

I just got buck fever (bean fever?) and started trying to get things in the ground way too early.  you know how it is.  Weather's warm, forcast seems good, and you think "I'm going to go for it!"  My neighbors told me later that no one can get the garden going until memorial day.  Lesson learned!

My plan is to get lots of fruit trees and bushes going in my 1/2 acre and transplant them to the 2 acres I bought this spring behind the house.  


You started well and just hit a Bad Patch. Moving means learning the new patterns and you were excited. That's the sort of thing we ALL do!

Mick Fisch wrote:Finally realized I needed to rototill several times at 90 degrees to keep it at a manageable level.  Now I'm focusing on about 1/2 the paddock, rototilling, hoing every few days and letting things bake dry for a while before trying to plant.  It seems to be working.  I will end up with potatoes, maybe a 3 sisters crop, pinto beans, and some of my bush and tree starts have survived and I will be able to get apple and stonefruit rootstock coming back every year.  

Next year I will do much better.  I will probably make a whole set of new mistakes, but they shouldn't be as expensive as the mistakes I made this year.


It sounds like you have learned and are learning. The whole point, as I understand it, is to make new mistakes every year.
My mistakes are that I keep moving my garden plots, so I never get to enjoy the benefits of having done all that work last year. I've made that my lesson, and will stop moving things around so much. For a little while. Maybe.
I'm jealous of your rototiller, though I have heard horror stories of the blades "bouncing" off the ground locally. I hope you are able to enjoy the fruits of your labors, not just the physical benefits.

You are doing wonderfully well. Good luck with your trees, future and current starts!
 
Scott Stiller
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Hi friends. I couple days ago I posted how well my squash we’re doing in pots. Since then things have gone south. While my plants in the ground have strong, thick stems the ones in pots are weak and scrawny. They’ve actually started to die. I’ve grown so many things in pots this year and they’re all doing fine except the squash. No problems for tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers though.
I just didn’t want anyone to try it and be disappointed.
 
Kristine Keeney
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I'm sorry that your potted squash are dying. I've had the opposite luck with squash for the past two years, so I'm guessing it's all part of that wonderful learning process.
To clarify: All my non-potted squash died pitifully or were eaten by rodents, lagomorphs, and chickens. The potted ones did so well, they strangled themselves before I could repot them. No fruit either way, but a lot of leaves and flowers.
My condolences on your current and still evolving loss.
 
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First off - some wonderful surprises this year - the mulch basin I created near the house to catch runoff from gutters may have failed the avocado and asparagus I tried there first, but they worked very well for nicotiana (flowering tobacco) - we have had multiple blooms on large bush-like plants for over two months - they bloom from evening till early morning and the scent is wonderful. We also had some rain at the right times for the wildflowers - didn't know we had so many kinds on this property - lupine, trillium, soaproot, gumweed, chicory, brodiae, peavine, and several other daisy/aster like yellow flowers. The larkspur off the main patio lasted a long time too. Also, temperatures have been much more "normal" so very grateful for that.

So here's my update regarding plans outlined 5 months ago for this year:

.I had hoped to get at least one or more two water storage containers set up by this spring to collect rainwater for irrigation (besides our 3000 gallon "pool house" and one rain barrel), but we are still working on metallizing the last quarter section roof of our house so we can continue getting fire insurance, along with fixing gouges in the floors. In the meantime, I dug two mini retention ponds above one of our hundred+-year-old pear trees, and also added a drainage ditch to divert runoff to those pondlets from the driveway. I also dug one above the other pear tree,


We spent almost four months cleaning up the damage from fallen trees and limbs, chainsawing and chopping it into firewood or burning smaller branches - ended up burning 9 times, trying for no smoke, and then put the hose to it to make sure it was dead out each time. I ended up with a two-foot thick pile of biochar. Water storage plans were scrapped.

Other plans - grow just about everything from seed like I did last year - using a grow light and/or a cold frame


Made soil blocks using a mix of compost, potting soil, and garden soil - wet it well and packed down - made a tin can mold and also a narrower one out of a hard plastic container. This was rather time consuming so I switched to making molds out of thin cardboard from Triscuit boxes cut and taped together - should probably splurge on a soil block maker for next year. The kale, carrots, bok choy, brussels sprouts and lettuce that sprouted in those blocks were then put in the cold frame and several did well enough to transplant and then later for beets, tomato, and a red cabbage, covering against frost as needed. Did not get into the grow light thing - might be a possibility for next year. Beets have done marginally well - very slow growers - think I didn't water them enough. However, turnips I direct seeded after a rainfall were amazing, at least the top growth.

; try out a few winter squash seeds that may be crosses; finish up the drip irrigation to include the fruit trees


Had hoped to dig up a lot more area for squash to try land race ones and have the drip system extended to those areas. Not happening this year - I do have a number of acorn, butternut, spaghetti squash starts and some transplanted - managed to double dig two strips between fruit trees (amended with biochar, compost and rock phosphate) and have one three sisters patch with beans, squash and corn doing better than the raised beds. This patch gets afternoon shade from an apricot tree (the garden lies along a gradual slope facing southwest - the bed is oriented north-south; some of the others are oriented east-west).  Also sprouted some Sibly blue squash from a seed swap I attended. Not sure where all the other starts are going - more soil prep may be involved. Some of the transplanted squash and cucumbers have been eaten by sowbugs or earwigs so I put new ones in their place - mulch worked fine during the winter and spring months but does not do well due to these critters once things dry out. Noticed that the squash doing the best are ones I started in gallon pots (similar mix as the soil blocks) and allowed to get more than one set of leaves. Less pressure from the insects - apparently they put out chemicals that aren't as tasty as baby plants - and the roots barely get disturbed if I ease the plant out of the container. Found that one good way to trap sowbugs is to dunk an old shirt in water and lay it out on the ground - check it a few hours later or in the morning and you'll likely find a batch of them. I've been relocating mine elsewhere...

add hardware cloth to 3 existing beds and dig up to 3 new beds


Managed to add hardware cloth to one bed, taking out the soil and replacing it (due to issues with voles). Found 3 metal bookcases someone was giving away for free and turned those into boxes. Lined these with plastic, then filled them from the bottom up with a mixture of subsoil, cardboard and chopped greens, biochar and rock phosphate, sod with topsoil, chopped greens, biochar and rock phosphate, more topsoil and then compost. Have not added drainage holes yet - just covered them with plastic when it rained/snowed.

plant out crepe myrtle shoots to see if they take


None of them did - hubby weed whacked them because they didn't put out any leaves

create a garden shed out of an old goat barn


This came out well!  I used an existing north side metal fence for one wall, then reused R metal panels and timber from old fence posts and the goat barn for the other 3 sides. I left about 9 inches between the roof and the walls open - planning to cover with mesh against fire at some point. The doorway is also still open. It has been wonderful to store all the tools that I use regularly so near the garden and it provides a cool reprieve on really hot days (the cats love it). First time I have built something this big and sturdy all by myself! Also gives me privacy for peecycling and has a bucket toilet for emergency use...

start digging a wofati greenhouse


Who knows when that will happen - leaning toward some kind of hoop house or perhaps hoop houses over the beds.

create faster compost piles and easier to use mulch from raking grass clippings rather than cutting long grass by hand and grinding up oak leaves for compos


Not there yet.

seeing if someone locally wants to come and join in the fun by offering space for them to garden..


Have attended a few garden tours this year - most folks already have their own land. Not ready to advertise in the larger community - have started hauling in free wood chips to make paths and pre-lasagna areas for new beds and want to terrace a little more first.

We have plans to move a small fig tree into the orchard area


Success! We were able to move it and it took off. However, a late hard frost killed the first set of leaves and fruit. It has leafed out again, thank goodness.

I just planted a bare root jujube


I was ready to call the nursery on April 30 as it had not shown any leaves and it was their guarantee that their trees leaf out by May 1 - wouldn't you know, I saw the first ones on May 1st!

sowed fava beans and will be putting peas and sweet peas in by next week


Favas and peas both grew well, with a little help during the really hard frosts. Had about 6 meals out of the beans. The peas hardly set any pods.

Also got some tree collard cuttings


None of them made it - think it was too cold.

Haven't had luck with asparagus or artichoke as yet


Was given four artichoke plants - two of them are still hanging in there but seem to have stalled in their growth.

 
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