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Food Growing Mamas!!!!! We need to start a 2011 Thread!!!! February - March Thread

post #1 of 98
Thread Starter 

I've been thinking about starting this thread a lot lately.  Mothering won't recognize my yahoo e-mail any longer and I haven't gotten a forum or thread subscription update for about a month.  Dumb.  I haven't had a problem since I've been on and off of mothering since 2003 and I've had the same darn e-mail. 

 

Anyway, food growing mamas where you at?  I miss y'all.  I've been so exhausted and nauseated through this pregnancy so far and I haven't even started any seeds yet.  I want some energy to do so.  My plan is to do some tomorrow.  I gave my dh his honey do list to get my soil out for me so I can start mixing and filling containers and watering them.  I'm almost behind.  Ugh.  Ok, I am behind on some things.  Oh well.  Garden isn't even ready to plant in yet and I need to go out there and water my poor neglected garlic.  Isn't it supposed to rain more in the South?  This drought is killing me.

 

Please post and let us know your progress or your plans if you still have snow on the ground. treehugger.gif

 

 

Let's grow some food this year!!!!!!!!

post #2 of 98

I'd love to join!  This will be my first garden ever so I suppose we have yet to see just how green my thumb is but I can't WAIT until spring!  We are getting snow at the moment though, blah.  I decided to be brave and start all my plants from seed but I'm rather nervous about that now since a more experienced gardener friend doubtfully wished me luck.  I am starting to get twitchy waiting for the weather to change over.  How jealous I am of everyone in warmer zones!

post #3 of 98

Don't be jealous of EVERYONE in the warmer zones, just those who actually started their seeds early enough! ;-)

 

I'm totally new to this, and started some tomatoes and peppers and a few other things, but now I'm afraid that I didn't start them early enough to get things going before the summer scald. :(

 

I'm so excited to see if anything works out though!

post #4 of 98

Well I tried to order a bunch of stuff from Seeds of Change but they were out of stock for most of it and it's getting close to time to plant tomato transplants down here, it's been unseasonably cold this winter and we were in the 20's in the last 2 weeks. My sage managed to make it through the winter and my mint and rosemary are doing fine but my lemongrass had major die back from frost. Not sure if I will have to replace it or not, I'm just going to wait and see. DH is going to get out there and work my spring planting bed in the next week or so and I have my crop list pretty much decided.

post #5 of 98

We still have a couple feet of snow on the ground but I'm super excited about gardening this year. It's going to be so easy compared to last year! I'll have so much more confidence!

 

Last year was my very first garden ever and at our new home. I had to prepare a weedy old field (a decade or so ago it used to be lawn) that was filled with raspberry brambles and other nasty stuff. 

 

I did everything myself except we had a big tilling day where my parents and siblings came over with their tiller to till, a first raking and helped pick stones. I think we spent $400+ last year on fencing (deer fence), tiller rental, seeds, flowers, rake, shovel, etc. This year I just need to buy some seeds (and maybe some marigolds, I have a hard time growing them from seed) and I'm sure it'll be $50 MAX, probably less. 

 

The thing is, I was so worried that I would do everything wrong. I was blogging about it to the world (well, my handful of readers ;) ), our next door neighbours were watching, the guy who drives DH to work said that my tomatoes were sad and the only tomatoes I'd see were ones that he'd bring us (he might have been joking but he so wasn't funny!), my opinionated Dad and other family members were into it.... My confidence level was low at the beginning but grew over the summer along with the garden. My garden was kick ass! Take that all you naysayers. We're still eating tomato sauce, I just started buying store potatoes (going to save the last of ours for seed) and I still have plenty of veggies in the freezer. 

 

So this year, I'll have an even better idea of what to plant, how much of it etc. I'm big on crop rotation, planting in wide rows and mixing things up. Here are my favourite garden pics from last year. Lush and green, but not quite overgrown yet!  And here are the garden tallies. I was a little late putting things in because everything took longer than expected. (It was so much work preparing the garden soil!)

 

Oh, something I loved that worked well: laying cardboard in pathways and covering with straw. I didn't have enough to do the whole garden, but the parts I did worked SO well. The cardboard and most of the straw had broken down by the end of the summer and I plan on mixing it into the garden beds this spring and starting over with fresh. 

 

So excited for this summer! Our last frost date is June 1st or so. This time around I plan on getting an early start with cold weather crops. 

post #6 of 98

I went a little crazy and have planted everything already. I have four new 4x8 raised beds. One is tomatoes and basil, one is just peppers (sweet and hot) one for cucumbers (slicing and pickling) and one salsa garden.  I have 25 tomato plants in 10 gallon pots that I started from seed in early Jan.  I am growing Celebrities, Yellow Pear, Cherry, Money Maker, and Brandywine.  I also have three 65 gallon pots planted with zucchini. One big 95 gallon with carrots, and another with strawberries.

I also started a herb/butterfly garden with parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, onion chives, garlic chives, sage, and dill.

If it freezes, I am in big trouble, but I don't think it will....................right?

post #7 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sidandspencersmom View Post

I went a little crazy and have planted everything already. I have four new 4x8 raised beds. One is tomatoes and basil, one is just peppers (sweet and hot) one for cucumbers (slicing and pickling) and one salsa garden.  I have 25 tomato plants in 10 gallon pots that I started from seed in early Jan.  I am growing Celebrities, Yellow Pear, Cherry, Money Maker, and Brandywine.  I also have three 65 gallon pots planted with zucchini. One big 95 gallon with carrots, and another with strawberries.

I also started a herb/butterfly garden with parsley, thyme, oregano, basil, onion chives, garlic chives, sage, and dill.

If it freezes, I am in big trouble, but I don't think it will....................right?

Do you know when your last freeze is?  Your in TX so it shouldn't be too long now.  I would cover them on less that 40 degree nights just to be safe.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherAtHome View Post

We still have a couple feet of snow on the ground but I'm super excited about gardening this year. It's going to be so easy compared to last year! I'll have so much more confidence!

 

Last year was my very first garden ever and at our new home. I had to prepare a weedy old field (a decade or so ago it used to be lawn) that was filled with raspberry brambles and other nasty stuff. 

 

I did everything myself except we had a big tilling day where my parents and siblings came over with their tiller to till, a first raking and helped pick stones. I think we spent $400+ last year on fencing (deer fence), tiller rental, seeds, flowers, rake, shovel, etc. This year I just need to buy some seeds (and maybe some marigolds, I have a hard time growing them from seed) and I'm sure it'll be $50 MAX, probably less. 

 

The thing is, I was so worried that I would do everything wrong. I was blogging about it to the world (well, my handful of readers ;) ), our next door neighbours were watching, the guy who drives DH to work said that my tomatoes were sad and the only tomatoes I'd see were ones that he'd bring us (he might have been joking but he so wasn't funny!), my opinionated Dad and other family members were into it.... My confidence level was low at the beginning but grew over the summer along with the garden. My garden was kick ass! Take that all you naysayers. We're still eating tomato sauce, I just started buying store potatoes (going to save the last of ours for seed) and I still have plenty of veggies in the freezer. 

 

So this year, I'll have an even better idea of what to plant, how much of it etc. I'm big on crop rotation, planting in wide rows and mixing things up. Here are my favourite garden pics from last year. Lush and green, but not quite overgrown yet!  And here are the garden tallies. I was a little late putting things in because everything took longer than expected. (It was so much work preparing the garden soil!)

 

Oh, something I loved that worked well: laying cardboard in pathways and covering with straw. I didn't have enough to do the whole garden, but the parts I did worked SO well. The cardboard and most of the straw had broken down by the end of the summer and I plan on mixing it into the garden beds this spring and starting over with fresh. 

 

So excited for this summer! Our last frost date is June 1st or so. This time around I plan on getting an early start with cold weather crops. 

Loved your garden photos Heather.  Such a nice garden. treehugger.gif
 

post #8 of 98

I haven't even thought about it yet.  I've still got a good 3 months before I can plant.  I'm sure I'll do my usuals but I'd like to try something totally new this year too.

 

Once I get my planning going, I'll be back.

post #9 of 98

Farmer Cathy-- our last frost date is techincaly March 15, but I keep reading the 10 day forecasts and our lowest low's are in the mid 40's, so I feel safe.  I can move pots into the greenhouses, if I need to-- and reseed the others if they freeze............

post #10 of 98

We are still under a pretty heavy blanket of snow here with an estimated last frost date of May 13th - so it goes in the Catskills. My EDD is April 19th so in between getting the house ready for the new baby, midwife appointments, tending my 18 month old and running the farm operation I am going to *try* to at least get some of the seeds started that are going to need a head start in our area. This will only be our second Spring here at the new farm, last year there was no time to start anything since we were so busy with construction projects, so I’m going to be starting from scratch. How I am going to get the garden staked and prepared with a brand new baby, I have no idea - but I am going to try! Luckily my husband seems to be interested in the project, though his talent is training horses, not gardening, but he seems eager to help.

 

Here are my planned crops, excluding herbs, which I have not even thought about yet!

 

Asparagus - Viking KB3 1-year old crowns

Blueberries - Patriot and Blue Crop 3-year old bushes

Bok Choi - Mei Qing Choi From seed

Green Beans - Provider (bush) and Kentucky Blue (pole) From seed

Broccoli - Packman (Spring) and Premium Crop (Fall) From Seed

Celery - Tall Utah From seed

Corn - Silver Queen (Late Season) From seed

Cucumbers - Diva (Slicing) From seed

Pumpkins - Lumina, Baby Pam, Magic Lantern, Munchkin and Howden Biggies All from seed

Strawberries - Tri Star Day Neutrals (Bare root)

Tomatoes - Jet Star, Scarlet Red, Supersweet 100s and Roma Vfs All From Seed

Plus Heirlooms - Mr. Stripey, Brandywine, Yellow Brandywine, Cherokee Purple and Orange Ox Heart All From Seed

Turnips - Purple Top White Globe From seed

Watermelon - Crimson Sweets and Yellow Dolls From seed

  

post #11 of 98

Snow melted away last week!

 

I have onions, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, soy beans (yum, edamame!) and some cukes started inside. So far the edamame, a couple tomatoes, the onions, and the broccoli are peeping up. Oh, and I started early spinach in the actual dirt with a clear plastic rubbermaid container over it serving as an impromptu greenhouse/coldframe. They may not come up, but I sure am trying my darndest!

 

This is my first "real" garden, so if I say something nonsensical, please help me out ;)

 

The last two days, dd and I ROCKED on prepping our garden space and building up our beds. I am doing semi-raised beds ala "One Magic Square" (really really inspirational gardening book! I am going to buy it--it's on loan from the library). We put five and a half rough squares and then long beds around the perimeter which butts up to chainlink fence (will be doing climbers, etc up the fences). Have not done much soil improvements but plan to get the compost, manure, etc. this week sometime and prep out the soil asap.

 

I cannot wait to look out my window and see FOOOD growing! But I'm trying to reign myself in and realize that this year is all about learning and not to count too much on the harvest! As insurance, we are still doing our garden CSA because Idk my garden might be pretty scanty this year?

 

I have the feeling I am getting in over my head . . . which is pretty much how I roll ;)

 

Great thread! I'll try to keep up :D

post #12 of 98

I'm so excited about my garden this year!  We too have a couple feet of snow still, and a storm hitting us tomorrow morning but I'm placing an order to Baker Creek soon. My mother and I are ordering together and splitting some seeds and then shes planting things that I'm not and vice versa.....so we can maximize our food for the year.

 

I always do peas, beets, broccoli, lettuce, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers.......

but this year I might do peppers, carrots, and winter squash

 

I'm planning a bean teepee with purple green beans! So excited for that.

 

We also have a lot of fruit on our property. Apples, pears, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes and this year I will be foraging for elderberries. We also have a lot of fiddleheads, although I am hesitant to pick this year because they made me sick last year because I didn't cook them for long enough.

 

I just want March 20th to hurry up and arrive because thats when I plan on starting my little seedlings, and putting some of the cold hardy stuff in the ground.  Oh and of course the taps on the maple trees will be flowing at that point!  I just love what the spring has to offer us :)

post #13 of 98

 

We are in western Oregon, zone 8 with a last frost date of May 1. We just got a surprise snow yesterday and it’s quite cold and dry now. Will warm up to the usual rain next week. Spring can be very rainy, muddy which means it's hard to til the soil but the weeds sprout up like.... weeds LOL And the slugs.... omg....

 

Last year we started the switch to raised beds for some plants. We have a bit clayish soil and although it’s high in minerals it gets very compacted. I can’t plant root veg or anything from seed. So we put in two 6x4 raised beds with purchased local soil. Results were amazing! We are adding 3 new raised beds this year for a total of 5. DH is SO into the garden now and food we can produce. We also bought a indoor greenhouse last year on sale. It goes in a sunny south facing window in our dining room.

 

I was hoping to have the new beds built and filled with soil by March 1st but I am not sure that will happen. But since we are having an extended winter I think all will be fine. My next To Do task is to clean out anything remaining from last year’s garden that died or didn’t grow well. Weed a bit and mix in some compost. Buy a few new seed packs too. Get the greenhouse out of the garage.

 

The Veggies:

 

Raised beds will have rows of:

 

Garlic – planted last fall

Onions

Leeks

Broccoli

Cabbage

Bok Choi

Swiss chard

Peas – shell and snow

Radish

Lettuce – heirloom mixes, grown in rows but also interplanted with other plants.

Spinach

Beets – 3 kinds

Parsley and other herbs

Marigolds in spots

Kale – planted in the late summer for autumn/winter harvest

 

** Most of the above will be planted by seed March – May depending on calendar.

 

In the other parts of our garden/backyard will be:

 

Pickling cucumbers on a trellis

Bean teepee with purple beans and climbing nastrium

Tomatoes of many varities

Zuchinni

Winter squash – pumpkin, acorn, spaghetti, delicata

 

** Most of these will be started indoors in March or April for June transplant

 

We are still not sure what will be planted where. Last year we moved the tomatoes to a new location and they did dreadful. However, we had a record coo summer and no ones tomatoes did well. The winter squash is so traily the grass and weeds tend to grow all around the vines. And the bean teepee was supposed to be constructed last year but that never happened. DH bought huge bamboo poles. Hope he is willing to help pick the top layers! I am not sure where to put this mammoth thing so it doesn't shade other plants or block some of the nicer views in our backyard. Hmmm....

 

Rhianna

post #14 of 98

I'm thinking about building a green house...

 

We have misc bits of wood and piping around and some heavy duty plastic (really thick!) left over from renovation work. I bet I could build a frame and cover it with plastic, sealing the edges with Tuct Tape (that stuff really sticks!). It might be ugly, but I bet it'd work. I am so tempted to do this but will have to wait and see what our work load is like this spring. I would start seedlings in it, grow green peppers and melons (!) and plant later winter crops inside (greens etc). I want it so badly! redface.gif

post #15 of 98

Started cool-season crops already!!

 

Brussels sprouts, broccoli, sweet peas, swiss chard, carrots, radishes, onions and garlic. Yukon gold and Roanoke red potatoes in plastic tubs, and I seeded cinnamon basil and sweet basil. I would really like to plant over and over, planting more densely to feed the family. I am also going to try corn this year and am planting by the moon (not supposed to plant at all until March now - FYI). Strawberries are cleared out and ready to go also, but I think I will plant a couple more plants this year (last year was the first year, and they were only okay). I removed some perennial flowers and added another long raised bed.

 

I am in GA, zone 7, I think?

 

Can I plant asparagus and then plant something over them? I hate to give up that part of the bed for a year, but, as DH points out, I have to start sometime!

 

I hope it works. I have planted in horse manure compost.

post #16 of 98

I'm eagerly awaiting my seeds. As soon as they arrive I plan on planting my spinach and lettuces, peas, onions, and garlic right in the garden and starting about 20 sauce tomato plants and 8-10 eating tomato plants indoors by seed. I'll grow them inside for a month and then start hardening them off. I hope to have the tomatoes in the ground by mid-April. Our last frost date should be April 1 (we are between zone 7-8, so I split the difference between March 15th and April 15th). It is still freezing at night about 1-2 times a week, but it's lovely 50's, 60's, and the occasional 70 degrees during the day. Depending on how the weather has been going at that point, sometime between the first of April and the beginning of May I will plant the rest seeded right into the garden.

post #17 of 98
Still snowing here, but I put my order in to Baker Creek today. It was my first year ordering with them so I had a blast. Decided to try some new things for us including black beans, amaranth, long beans, and melons in addition to the staple wax beans, peas, eggplant, carrots, and squash, among others. I'm going to try to plant lots of flowers amoung my veggies this year just because it makes me smile.
post #18 of 98

Blurg.  I'm so far behind this year.  I wish I could say it's driving me nuts, but I'm rather blah about it.  Things'll happen and get done at some point.  Right now the majority of my 4" pots are under packed snow in the backyard anyway.  They were put away at one time, but the kids and wind gusts took care of that over the winter.

I finally ordered from Heirloom Acres (nope, not in a huge hurry, I'm good), and from Sample Seeds (a friend told me about Remy).  Even plan to order from evil Gurney's because of the coupon I've got.  I can get two honeyberry bushes and a dwarf orange for $40-$45 when shipping and discounts are all said and done.  Blueberries just aren't thrilled with my yard, so I'm moving on.  I'm okay with it.  I'm not going to be back up to 100% production from my yard for another year or two, that's just how it is.  But I can do something and get things at least looking nicer.  Along with my goal this year of getting a greenhouse and cold frame going.  Trying to go all Eliot Coleman on the yard and food this year, and see how long I can keep growing/harvesting things this upcoming year/winter.

I have already been working on my food storage/processing plans for the upcoming year.  Yes, I have issues. 
It's actually even warm out there right now, 18*F.  I need to re-load the wood stove tonight.  Also was/am debating chickens this year.  Again, meh, not sure whether it'll happen or not.  The 7yo's not quite on board with butchering chickens for meat - he wants to keep them for eggs.  Sigh.  This is the kid that sucks down pretty much all things chicken I make, too.  We'll see.  I'm not as freaked out about it all since we get to stay here (at least for now), and I have several ways to get my hands on my hundreds (thousand+?) of pounds of produce if I stay on top of things this year.  Have learned the kids like peaches better than pears though, and applesauce's appeal isn't as big as it was last year.  Good to know.

post #19 of 98

Below zero all last week and projected to be most of this week. SO cold for us! We are usually mid 40s during the day by this time of year.  Regardless, I can't put anything in the ground until June 1 here!

 

My seeds are ordered and arrived though still waiting for the last few from my order with Baker Creek. We will start some plants April 1-15 in the 'greenhouse' (glased in front porch that I heat from April on for seedlings and baby chicks set to arrive mid-April as well!)

 

We have raspberry bushes and strawberry plants arriving in late May, so I'll need to prep those places as soon as I dig.

 

But, I've been reading blogs and dreaming of my garden.  I have my work cut out for me as I'm due mid June. So, I need to have everything in the ground and ready to go that first week of June. Then my helpers can do their job weeding and watering while I babymoon!

post #20 of 98
Thread Starter 

Lanna, I totally am there with you.  Taking it easy.  I think after last year we both need to take it slow this year.  No stress, just do what you can and forget the rest.  Chickens for eggs are really easy.  Here is a good video on building your own.  You can go to her website and she has a list of materials.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSoyFbEDn3Q

 

We just started getting loads of compost yesterday and we will get more on Monday to fill up beds.  I really wish we had rabbits already, I'd just pour that stuff straight in there and mix it in.  Hopefully we will have some in time for our fall planting.  I will definitely have to get that all in and done before baby comes and then maybe have weeding as one of my labor projects.  I'm looking for a summer cover crop to grow where the garlic is and then planting it with fall crops.  Just found some and ordered it. lol.gif  It's an edible cover crop no less. eat.gif

 

Our landlord is helping put it in since he will be eating out of it as well.  I'm so glad for all the help this year, esp. because he is so darn excited!

 

Sounds like everyone is planning or planting already, way ahead of me, but that's ok.  I'm looking for strawberries next.  Going to craigslist to see if I can dig up some from someone's yard. treehugger.gif

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