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TexasMadness Profile
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Winter means planning


Anybody planning their gardens or other homesteady type activities yet?

Chad and I have planned for yet another change of location of our vegetable garden! The first one was waayyy in the back corner of our one acre lot. Great location - lots of sun, big open space. But easily neglected. So we opted for a smaller kitchen garden right up next to the house. During the winter planning months, it seemed the perfect spot. I thought I even figured out how the trees would leaf out and where the sun would be. Wrong. Way too much shade. It's going to be a great lettuce garden this year though, so preparing the soil won't be wasted! (oh, and the old big garden will be where we plant things like potatoes and onions that don't need daily attention).

So...I had mentioned this before, we are moving the vegetable garden to the front yard! Just a few steps from the door is a nice open flat sunny spot. We'll do raised beds and keep it looking tidy. I don't think any neighbors will complain. We have the material for the first 4 boxes and hope to have those done to get the last of the winter crops in. We had planned on having them done this fall...but well, morning sickness and back pain but those plans on hold!

We still want to get some animals again. Probably chickens, maybe ducks. But we are taking it slow and waiting until we are really ready. But I think it will happen this year.

Anybody else? How's the balcony looking Firle? Saijen, are you planning your garden? Do you guys try new varieties each year or do you stick to the tried and true? Who else?
1/6/2012, 4:41 pm Link to this post Send Email to TexasMadness   Send PM to TexasMadness
 
Saijen SilverWolf1 Profile
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Re: Winter means planning


Actually, we have done a little planning for the garden. We gave up some of our garden space for our wolf so he could have a bigger pen, which was fine with me. We needed to seriously downsize our garden. We were getting more than we had room to put up or give away. We had a lot of peppers to rot on the vines because we just did not have the time to deal with them properly, nor the room to put them if we had had the time.

We've tried some varieties, especially of green beans, and found we prefer vine beans or things that will climb. They are much easier for us to pick. DH's knees and back won't allow him to kneel or bend over to pick beans....neither will mine, so doing beans we can train up onto wires and stakes are the direction we're planning for this year. We prefer either the Candy Corn, Silver Queen or Golden Queen corn. We planted a variety of tomatoes this past year, and we really like the big yellow ones (can't think of the name right off) as well as the Beefsteak tomatoes. We also like the Mr. Stripies. Most other things we just grab what we can get ahold of...squash, cucumbers, okra...etc.

We're also going to try to get the chicken area we started last year finished so we can get our laying hens and start getting fresh eggs. The coop is done, it's just a matter of fencing in the lot. We'd love to have some ducks, but 2 of our dogs would run them and if they caught them, they'd kill them.
I'm really looking forward to having the chickens. I miss the fresh eggs I used to get when my ex and I raised chickens.

Texas, your front yard garden sounds good. Would love some photos when you get it built and planted.

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~~@Saijen@~~
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TexasMadness Profile
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Re: Winter means planning


Yeah, you guys are still getting chickens! They really are so much fun.

We can't grow the beefsteaks here - it's too hot for them. But we can grow some of the other big ones that make good slicers. Not sure what the farm will grow this year as many of the heirlooms we tried didn't do well. But it was such a harsh year, it's hard to really judge anything on it.

I prefer pole beans too...if you have a good trellising system! I've tried a couple of things that were just no good. The last couple of year we've been using cattle panel - works like a charm. I remember one year, maybe 6 years ago, we had to get a 12' ladder to harvest the beans because they had taken off into a nearby tree and just gone crazy!
1/6/2012, 10:16 pm Link to this post Send Email to TexasMadness   Send PM to TexasMadness
 
Saijen SilverWolf1 Profile
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Re: Winter means planning


Yeah, we still plan on getting some chickens. Things just got out of hand, time-wise last year, so we never managed to get things finished.

Y'all had such a horrible drought last year. Maybe try some of the heirlooms again this year, and hope you get more rain. Here is a site to suggest some drought resistant tomatoes, too
http://www.reimerseeds.com/heat-tolerant-tomato_1474.aspx

WOW on the pole beans. That's a pretty good sized vine...lol. We usually just put up some T-posts and DH strings some wax string or some baling wire between them. It's stuff readily handy here on the farm and it keeps the beans to a height that's do-able for us.
We planted some red beans last year. They look like regular green beans, only they're red....till you can or freeze them. Then, they turn green. Weirdest thing I've ever seen! They have a really good taste to them, though. Can't find a site that has them to show you. They were almost cardinal red on the outside and the bean on the inside was the usual color found in green beans.

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~~@Saijen@~~
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TexasMadness Profile
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Re: Winter means planning


Oh, I've had some purple beans that were like that! The first time I cooked them I was SO disappointed! I wanted a big bowl of purple green beans! emoticon I think I may have seen the red ones in a catalog before. We did 'red noodle' beans - they aren't green beans but taste just like them...but they can grow to be 2 feet long! They turn a gross grey when you cook them but are still delicious.
1/8/2012, 2:31 am Link to this post Send Email to TexasMadness   Send PM to TexasMadness
 
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Re: Winter means planning


Wow, you're already planning!

I'm not really planning for my balcony, to be honest. I only have very few spots to fill.

I want to get a new rosemary plant, because the one I have is just not doing well. The geranium is STILL flowering, it would take some real frost to kill it. Maybe I'll just keep it for next summer, if the weather stays mild. We're told that it'll get colder soon now, though. If that geranium dies, I'll just get a new one. They sure produce a lot of flowers for just a few cents. emoticon

I need to prune the roses badly, and I suppose I'll have to do it soon or they'll start sprouting again. And I hate cutting off sprouting branches.

Because of the roses, I have no room for tomatoes or such, but that's just how it is. I want to keep the roses until I can give them a new home in my very own garden ... whenever that'll happen.

TM: Didn't you show us some photoes of your front garden with boxed beds? I remember a row of boxes, at any rate.

Saijen: Downsizing makes a lot of sense when your garden is bigger than you can manage. Hope you can just grow what you both enjoy and can handle.

All the best for your plans! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1/8/2012, 8:28 pm Link to this post Send Email to Firlefanz   Send PM to Firlefanz Blog
 
TexasMadness Profile
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Re: Winter means planning



Firlefanz wrote:
Wow, you're already planning!



Our first crops go in a just two weeks! I'm LATE on planning! emoticon

I don't recall if I took a picture of the dummy boxes along the front walk. But of course, the REAL boxes are going up now!

1/9/2012, 3:08 pm Link to this post Send Email to TexasMadness   Send PM to TexasMadness
 
Saijen SilverWolf1 Profile
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Re: Winter means planning


Texas, I think you did post some photos of what you had in mind with some 'dummy' boxes...but it's been a while ago.

Glad you're about to get things planted and growing.

Firle, it took me some doing to get DH to take that small portion of the garden for the wolf's pen, but I think he finally saw the logic. Not only for Wadisi, but for the garden. We'll have to push the garden even further back that the fence...but not by a whole lot. Probably no more than a couple of feet, though.

Sometimes, you just have to sacrifice some things for others. In your case, being able to grow more veggie garden type stuff is not as important as your roses.....and if I had limited space, I'd chose the roses, too! As you all know, I do love my flowers and flowering bushes. So, I don't blame you one bit for choosing to keep your roses.




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~~@Saijen@~~
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