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Getting ready for spring


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#1 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted October 26, 2011 - 08:21 AM

The wife wants to double the size of the garden next year.
I have three patches, the main one is 40X60.
I thought it would be wise to get the sod off this fall and open it up so it would absorb moisture. They are saying we are likely to experience a drought next year.
And the cracked ground indicates little subsoil moisture.
Last night, I took the Troy Bilt Super Bronco out, and added another 60 ft to that patch just deep enough to take the sod off. I'll go back tonight and till it a little deeper and then leave it till spring.
The tomato patch is about 30 X 40 and I'll add another 20 ft to that.
And the patch where the strawberries are about 25X60 Had sweet corn on the north side. I'll expand that to 100 ft like the main patch.
I may plant Sweet Corn and Jack-oLanten pumpkins(for the grand daughter) in that patch.
The wife has decided instead of pie pumpkins next year she plans to put in all sweet potatoes.

#2 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted October 26, 2011 - 10:27 AM

Your original sizes sound like a very large garden to me. I'm literally in the woods, without a lot of cleared space for gardens. Heres hoping you get the moisture you need next year.

#3 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted October 26, 2011 - 12:27 PM

Yes Brian, I agree it is a large garden. There is no question that one can prodce a lot of produce in a much smaller space. But since I have 8.9 acres(it's basically one large hill, exposed to the North Wind Fortunately my property is sheltered to the west by 7 acres of woods belonging to my neighbor), that was a corn field a year ago. Anything I don't put in garden has to be mowed, to control weeds. I have about 2 acres sowed to white clover, so it needs intermittant mowing. Plus when I get my bee's there is nothing better than clover honey. Alc, has me planning to plant an acre to grains(oats/sougham grass), to produce mulch, which would cut down some mowing and provide mulch for the garden. Since I still work a 40 hr week and spend 10 hrs a week commuting, I'm trying to reduce property maintainence to a manageable level. It's a hobby farm, I hope to turn into a market garden to supplement my retirement income.

Wish I had more woods on my property! I have 4 trees in the yard and about 15 black willow and two mulberries along the waterway at the bottom of the hill.I am thinking of planting Hybird Hazelnuts(a bush plant) along the north fence, as both a windbreak and for nut production.
Once they start producing they would require little maintainence for 10-12 yrs, then need to coppiced(cut back to about 6") then they will come back quickly.

#4 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted October 26, 2011 - 02:20 PM

JD that sounds like a really nice property you have there. Good luck with the larger plots next year.

#5 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted October 26, 2011 - 09:00 PM

Nice the both you and your wife can enjoy gardening , hope to see some pictures of your garden . Did you ever try blueberries ? Other then having to make a framework to hold the netting to protect them from birds they are pretty easy to take care of . We also had good luck with raspberries but a little tougher to keep the weeds out . Do you replant your strawberries often ? Al

#6 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted October 26, 2011 - 10:12 PM

Nice the both you and your wife can enjoy gardening , hope to see some pictures of your garden . Did you ever try blueberries ? Other then having to make a framework to hold the netting to protect them from birds they are pretty easy to take care of . We also had good luck with raspberries but a little tougher to keep the weeds out . Do you replant your strawberries often ? Al


Yes we are fortunate in that we share a lot of interests and work together well. This our first year on this place, in fact it won't be a year until December 23.
Trying the blue berries, planted 3 this spring,(know of no one growing them in this area, but Jo buys enough we have to try growing them) along with 3 black rasberry, 3 Blackberry, and 3 each of 4 kinds of red rasberries. Also planted 3 grapes, 3 manchurian Apricot and 5 different apple trees, 3 peach trees and 1 self polinating pear. This is the first year for the strawberry patch, so have not yet done any replanting.
So we are at least a year from seeing production from the berries. I also started permanent beds of Asparagus and Horse Radish. Jo and I are still debating the rhubarb. I like it she does'nt?

Edited by JD DANNELS, October 26, 2011 - 10:21 PM.


#7 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted October 27, 2011 - 07:01 AM

Sounds like a great opportunity for more seat time. Good luck with the expansion. I hope I get to re do my space, as I think it will have better production next year.

#8 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted October 27, 2011 - 07:39 AM

You nave a nice variety of fruits started !!! I'm thinking on replanting my strawberries in a new location , they have been in this spot of maybe 5-6 years . The production seems to have fallen off and it's getting very weedy so I was thinking I would pull the younger plants and put them in a different area . Al

#9 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted October 27, 2011 - 08:04 AM

Yes we tried to get a good variety started right away since it would take 2-3 yrs for them to begin producing.
I had a friend that grew an acre of "U-pick It" (15 miles east of Des Moines) strawberries and every 3 yrs he would till out strips. Then would take the old heads he had tilled up and replant them. The second year they would produce as well as if he had bought starts.
He had all they wanted to put up and sold out every year.
My family is kind of fruity. By that I mean If you offered fruit or candy, they will pick the fruit every time.
My wife is a very good cook, and buys berries every week to make sauces and fruity deserts. What they get in the market is breaking me.
So I need to grow it myself and have control of how it is grown and handled.
I will never be able to go fully organic, since I have row crop farmers on two sides of my property. But I like knowing what I use on my crops.
The Neighbor to the north of me was over last week looking for a lost calf. He told me the hay field north of me will be treated with round up and planted to corn next spring. I asked him to do the roundup when the wind was from the south to prevent drift damage to my fruit trees and plants.

#10 plowboy OFFLINE  

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Posted November 16, 2011 - 09:44 AM

very impressed with everything iv read here. good luck to all of u. im hopein for great fortune next yr as well.




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