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Thread: Gardens What to Plant in Them

  1. #1
    City Survivalist Proud American's Avatar
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    Default Gardens What to Plant in Them

    Ok, what is easy to grow and fast growing. Also tell me any and all uses for the item. I have a limited(stressed) amount of space to plant garden. Please write and tell me any info and your thought thanks.
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    Bush Master MCBushbaby's Avatar
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    actual "I want to be able to feed myself" garden or "I want to eat whatever I can grow" garden?

    Easy/fast/low maintenance: sunflowers, milk thistle, dandelions, maple seedlings, wild potato/man-of-the-earth

    Food/easyish: peppers, tomato (just give 'em something to climb, off the ground), pumpkin, squash, regular potato.
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    My pick for an easy to maintain, food garden would have to contain at the very minimum the 3 sisters: Corn, beans, squash...

    It worked for the Native Americans for generations. The corn gives the (climbing) beans a place to grow up, the beans provide nitrogen to the soil for better corn growth/less stressed soil, and the squash helps keep weeds at bay by providing ground cover/shade.

    With these three plants together you can make a ton of different foods (succotash uses primarily all three), or you can use each one individually.



    FYI: Generally speaking a faster growing edible garden plant has less "shelf life" too.
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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    It would be very helpful, Proud, to understand what your definition of "limited" space is. You stressed it so I'll take a different tack and assume your talking apartment. Container plants can be cultivated very successfully in a very small place. You can be very successful with a tomato plant in a large pot, a pepper plant in a pot, either bush beans in a pot or climbers with a trellise. All will produce an abundance of fruit and don't take up a lot of room. You can freeze (the easiest) or can (longer storage) any of the fruits I just mentioned. Herbs do very well in containers, too. Do a google for container gardens for more information.

    Don't overlook wild edible plants in your area, either. If you are in an urban environment, just be careful of chemical sprays that limit weed growth or runoff from same. You don't want to pick plants near highways either because of emissions exhaust and possible chemicals that might have been dropped along the highway (think garbage truck).

    You will find some wild plants in an urban environment that you won't find in the wild. At least they are more abundant in an urban setting. Purslane is a good example. A lot of "weeds" like to take over disturbed land but don't do very well in the wild.

  5. #5

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    **Found at http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthread...umber=114437**

    "Well, growing your own food isn't as simple as it sounds. There's a lot more to it than just sticking some seeds in the ground and standing back.

    A few things that I've learned about growing food in the past few years here in the Pacific Northwest:

    That old farmer was right: you need to do everything when it needs to be done, not when it's convenient.

    The condition of the soil is 90% of the battle. Poor soil = poor crops. If a Depression started right after Christmas, I would be SOL.

    The soil test shows some nutrients are missing. I need to grow more cover crops like clover to add nitrogen, and add lime to raise the calcium level and the pH.

    Beans really will grow up corn stalks. The corn was poor due to nutrient deficiency (they take more nitrogen than practically any other crop), but the Romano pole beans were wonderful.

    I think I've got the corn planting thing figured out: plant the early kind when the soil temp is at least 65F three inches deep, then 10 days later plant the mid-season kind, then 10 days later plant the late-season kind.

    Asparagus are a pain to plant, but they can produce for over 25 years.

    Don't try growing strawberries unless you have a good supply of Sluggo or other non-toxic iron phosphate-based killer. Same for lettuce.

    Artichokes can be grown here as perennials -- the guy who told me to mulch them heavily with ground bark knew his stuff.

    Homegrown carrots are totally superior to store carrots. Fence them off next time so the dog doesn't do the harvesting.

    Blueberries also do well here. Again, fence them off next time so the dog doesn't do the harvesting. And the chickens will chase the dog off and then jump straight up and grab the berries. That explains why there were no berries less than three feet off the ground last year...

    If you grow pole beans on supports other than corn, put up the supports even before you plant the beans. Having to tear them apart, cut off the tops and wind them around supports when they're half-grown is a PITA, and they don't produce well afterwards. (Dummy!)

    Bush beans need to be picked all at the same time (good for freezing or processing), but pole beans produce gradually so you can have them fresh over a longer season.

    Don't plant cucumbers that close together again -- there wasn't enough room on the trellis.

    Eight Butternut squash plants planted in improved soil can produce about 50 viable squashes.

    Investigate drip irrigation... handwatering takes too long and probably isn't as effective. Remember those poor watermelons.

    If you grow sunflowers for seeds, put paper bags over their heads before they even start to ripen. The birds don't care if they're ripe-- maybe they're easier to eat when the shells are softer. But they can strip a big sunflower in 1.5 days.

    The neighbor says to plant pumpkins all the way around the corn patch to keep out the raccoons, as the pumpkins are stickery. I don't know about this, as they're pretty stubborn. But, since the corn was such a bust, it didn't matter this year.

    The 2x4 welded wire fencing laid flat on the ground really does keep out deer.

    Fence out those chickens! It isn't their pecking as much as it is the scratching damage from their big feet! Fortunately, they're a heavy breed that doesn't fly much, so 24" poultry netting will do fine.

    Bell peppers either need to be planted earlier and covered, or just kept covered with some kind of clear, ventilated little greenhouse, esp if you want colored ones.

    Plant the tomatoes earlier and put the 5-gallon water jugs (with cut-off bottoms) over them. This esp applies to the larger types of tomatoes.

    Keep the dog away from the cherry tomatoes.

    Try leeks again, but get them in EARLIER!

    Grow more sugar snap peas as they can be eaten whole. Regular English peas sure take a lot of hulling to make a few servings!

    Grow potatoes under soil next time. This business about setting them on the top of the soil and covering them with straw doesn't seem to work too well. Esp if you're not religious about keeping the straw deep enough (sunlight makes green potatoes).

    One or two zucchini plants are enough.

    Alfalfa meal makes a good fertilizer for adding nitrogen.

    Learning more all the time. Next year should be better.

    Sue"
    Honesta Mors Turpi Vita Potior
    Facta non verba

    Lethality of the 22LR - Actual test
    Honor dies where interest lies

  6. #6
    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaymondPeter View Post
    **Found at http://forums.equipped.org/ubbthread...umber=114437**

    "Well, growing your own food isn't as simple as it sounds. There's a lot more to it than just sticking some seeds in the ground and standing back.

    A few things that I've learned about growing food in the past few years here in the Pacific Northwest:

    That old farmer was right: you need to do everything when it needs to be done, not when it's convenient.

    The condition of the soil is 90% of the battle. Poor soil = poor crops. If a Depression started right after Christmas, I would be SOL.

    The soil test shows some nutrients are missing. I need to grow more cover crops like clover to add nitrogen, and add lime to raise the calcium level and the pH.

    Beans really will grow up corn stalks. The corn was poor due to nutrient deficiency (they take more nitrogen than practically any other crop), but the Romano pole beans were wonderful.

    I think I've got the corn planting thing figured out: plant the early kind when the soil temp is at least 65F three inches deep, then 10 days later plant the mid-season kind, then 10 days later plant the late-season kind.

    Asparagus are a pain to plant, but they can produce for over 25 years.

    Don't try growing strawberries unless you have a good supply of Sluggo or other non-toxic iron phosphate-based killer. Same for lettuce.

    Artichokes can be grown here as perennials -- the guy who told me to mulch them heavily with ground bark knew his stuff.

    Homegrown carrots are totally superior to store carrots. Fence them off next time so the dog doesn't do the harvesting.

    Blueberries also do well here. Again, fence them off next time so the dog doesn't do the harvesting. And the chickens will chase the dog off and then jump straight up and grab the berries. That explains why there were no berries less than three feet off the ground last year...

    If you grow pole beans on supports other than corn, put up the supports even before you plant the beans. Having to tear them apart, cut off the tops and wind them around supports when they're half-grown is a PITA, and they don't produce well afterwards. (Dummy!)

    Bush beans need to be picked all at the same time (good for freezing or processing), but pole beans produce gradually so you can have them fresh over a longer season.

    Don't plant cucumbers that close together again -- there wasn't enough room on the trellis.

    Eight Butternut squash plants planted in improved soil can produce about 50 viable squashes.

    Investigate drip irrigation... handwatering takes too long and probably isn't as effective. Remember those poor watermelons.

    If you grow sunflowers for seeds, put paper bags over their heads before they even start to ripen. The birds don't care if they're ripe-- maybe they're easier to eat when the shells are softer. But they can strip a big sunflower in 1.5 days.

    The neighbor says to plant pumpkins all the way around the corn patch to keep out the raccoons, as the pumpkins are stickery. I don't know about this, as they're pretty stubborn. But, since the corn was such a bust, it didn't matter this year.

    The 2x4 welded wire fencing laid flat on the ground really does keep out deer.

    Fence out those chickens! It isn't their pecking as much as it is the scratching damage from their big feet! Fortunately, they're a heavy breed that doesn't fly much, so 24" poultry netting will do fine.

    Bell peppers either need to be planted earlier and covered, or just kept covered with some kind of clear, ventilated little greenhouse, esp if you want colored ones.

    Plant the tomatoes earlier and put the 5-gallon water jugs (with cut-off bottoms) over them. This esp applies to the larger types of tomatoes.

    Keep the dog away from the cherry tomatoes.

    Try leeks again, but get them in EARLIER!

    Grow more sugar snap peas as they can be eaten whole. Regular English peas sure take a lot of hulling to make a few servings!

    Grow potatoes under soil next time. This business about setting them on the top of the soil and covering them with straw doesn't seem to work too well. Esp if you're not religious about keeping the straw deep enough (sunlight makes green potatoes).

    One or two zucchini plants are enough.

    Alfalfa meal makes a good fertilizer for adding nitrogen.

    Learning more all the time. Next year should be better.

    Sue"
    Loved it !Been there done that and my garden is getting better every year,LOL never had to worry bout the dog harvesting,but the chickens can take a whole lot out of a garden...so can the neighbors horses!
    Yea go easy on the squash and the cucmber seeds unless you plan to sell/give them away,a few of those go a looonnngg way!

    I dont plant asparagus,it grows wild in abundance in my area,so no need to take up valuable, dedicated space in my garden for this one!

  7. #7
    City Survivalist Proud American's Avatar
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    Rick
    It would be very helpful, Proud, to understand what your definition of "limited" space is.

    Alrighty sorry didnt have time to look. Its a 9' by 6'(9 ft long 6ft wide).

    Yeah thanks for the help Rick and Raymond readin it theres alot of things to be done to my garden.Keeep postin!

    BTW i have no dog right now and as yet my mom has not gotten her wish to get chickens, so no problem there, but if you know what to do about aposums and crows there definetly out there in our yard durring the day and night.Also racoons but not so much i think(might try that pumpkin idea Raymond).
    Proud American

    Here lies my great advice from my years of experience......

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    My pick for easiest/most valuable food crop to grow is Raspberries. They thrive on neglect, don't need much fertilizer, don't need much water, and are a perennial shrub. Almost all veggies (asparagus aside) are annuals and must be replanted every year. Raspberries (And blueberries, but blueberries are much harder to grow) are shrubs. And most varieties will produce fruit for almost the whole summer. a6x9 patch should get you atleast a pound a day once established.

    they also multiply very rapidly and have decent critter defenses with the little spines on them.

    In grocery stores, because of their poor shippability, berries are also fairly expensive. Of all vegetables in your store you'll be challenged to find ones that are more, per pound, than raspberries or blueberries.

    Raspberries are also very high in antioxidants, and can be easily turned into jams and jellies for long term preservation due to their high pectin content.

    Raspberry plants are also cheap to buy, if you know someone who grows them they will give you a small plant for free, honest, because they spread so quickly.

    The only downside is that spreading really, they can take over an area if not maintained, which can be both good or bad.

    You can keep them in bounds by putting them in a raised bed

    My second favorite pick for home-grown veggies is sweet corn. Corn starts converting sugar to starch the second it is picked, which means that the fresher it is when you eat it, the better it tastes. Real crazy corn people even put the water on to boil before they go pick the corn. So, because of this, corn picked fresh from your own garden and then instantly cooked is a real treat, the best corn you've ever had. Corn does have higher nutrient/water requirements, and is an annual of course, but corn you grow yourself is so much better than store bought corn so it is really rewarding in that aspect.

    Then if you were growing to be self sufficient if SHTF, plant nut and fruit trees, but that'd require more land of course.

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    I still have to make some assumptions here. I'm going to assume your describing a plot of dirt as opposed to a patio. Look on the web for "Square Foot Gardening". I did some of that for a couple of years as an experiment to see how well it works and it works quite well. You can combine your plants, as RP said, "Corn, beans, squash" to conserve space and allow the plants to support each other both nutritionally and physically. It's more about being smart when it comes to picking the type of plants to grow together to optimize space and to ensure they don't compete for the same nutrients at the same depth.

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    Senior Member wareagle69's Avatar
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    Default new thing for me

    now that we have the property we will be growing a garden, just need to decide on in ground or raised bed, my advantage is that my father in law is italian and has a great garden and tons of knowledge, this yr he canned about 40 jars of honey mushrooms plus his garden that he froze alot of, also being up here it is the blueberry capital of the world growing in the wild although this yrs harvest was not good but with lots of rain this fall and what looks like a good winter ahead we should be able to get lots of berries of various types.

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    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wareagle69 View Post
    now that we have the property we will be growing a garden, just need to decide on in ground or raised bed, my advantage is that my father in law is italian and has a great garden and tons of knowledge, this yr he canned about 40 jars of honey mushrooms plus his garden that he froze alot of, also being up here it is the blueberry capital of the world growing in the wild although this yrs harvest was not good but with lots of rain this fall and what looks like a good winter ahead we should be able to get lots of berries of various types.
    Honey mushrooms?? never heard of thm,but they sound good!

  12. #12
    City Survivalist Proud American's Avatar
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    Chris
    My pick for easiest/most valuable food crop to grow is Raspberries. They thrive on neglect, don't need much fertilizer, don't need much water, and are a perennial shrub. Almost all veggies (asparagus aside) are annuals and must be replanted every year. Raspberries (And blueberries, but blueberries are much harder to grow) are shrubs. And most varieties will produce fruit for almost the whole summer. a6x9 patch should get you atleast a pound a day once established.

    they also multiply very rapidly and have decent critter defenses with the little spines on them.

    In grocery stores, because of their poor shippability, berries are also fairly expensive. Of all vegetables in your store you'll be challenged to find ones that are more, per pound, than raspberries or blueberries.

    Raspberries are also very high in antioxidants, and can be easily turned into jams and jellies for long term preservation due to their high pectin content.

    Raspberry plants are also cheap to buy, if you know someone who grows them they will give you a small plant for free, honest, because they spread so quickly.

    The only downside is that spreading really, they can take over an area if not maintained, which can be both good or bad.

    You can keep them in bounds by putting them in a raised bed

    My second favorite pick for home-grown veggies is sweet corn. Corn starts converting sugar to starch the second it is picked, which means that the fresher it is when you eat it, the better it tastes. Real crazy corn people even put the water on to boil before they go pick the corn. So, because of this, corn picked fresh from your own garden and then instantly cooked is a real treat, the best corn you've ever had. Corn does have higher nutrient/water requirements, and is an annual of course, but corn you grow yourself is so much better than store bought corn so it is really rewarding in that aspect.

    Then if you were growing to be self sufficient if SHTF, plant nut and fruit trees, but that'd require more land of course.

    I do have rasberries at my house and they do survive quiet well without any thing.I was thinkin on the selfsufficient side and not about savin money on berries(they do cost a fortune 4 dollars for like a pint of squished berries). The good news is that livin in California citrus is no prblem. I have 8 citrus trees in my small yard (2 oranges, 1 grapefruit,2 lemons,1 tangerine, 1 tangellow, and 1 Qumquat tree). So once again thanks Wolf Pack for your help, it makes it easier to come up with answers when you can post a question on a forum and have years of experience answer back.
    Still liken Raymonds 3 combo idea, and Rick yeah Ill look around at the square foot garden ideas.My Mom realy is lookin for ways to improve our garden, its not doin so hot right now. Thanks again guys and gals
    Proud American

    Here lies my great advice from my years of experience......

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Just some general thoughts.

    Make certain your garden is not located near trees. In general, the top of the tree is roughly the same size as the root ball. If you have branches overhanging your garden then you have roots competing for moisture.

    Take a sample of your dirt to the local county extension office. They will analyze it and tell you if you need to make soil adjustments and if so, what.

    Here is a link to find the extension office nearest you.

    http://ucanr.org/ce.cfm

    Make certain your garden drains well. Most garden plants like moisture but don't like to have wet feet.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proud American View Post
    Ok, what is easy to grow and fast growing. Also tell me any and all uses for the item. I have a limited(stressed) amount of space to plant garden. Please write and tell me any info and your thought thanks.
    Grow vertical, not across flat ground. Get one or more of those 3 to 4 ft across metal wash tubs and punch some drain holes in the bottom. Get some chicken wire and make two cylinders 4 ft. high. One of them at the circumference of the bottom of the wash tub and one at 4 inches across. Put the larger wire mesh cylinder in the bottom of the wash tub, standing on end. Put the smaller cylinder in the center of that and get a 4 ft tall section of PVC pipe and put it in the center of the smaller diameter wire mesh column. Fill the pipe with sand to the top. Fill the area between the inner and outer wire mesh columns with fresh top soil/fertilizer mix to the top. Remove the PVC pipe leaving the inner wire mesh cylinder. Plant what you will of row crop (seeds) in the holes of the outer wire mesh column, water the seeds at the sand center. Use guy wires anchored to the sides of the wash tub to keep the outer wire mesh cylinder standing straight up (usually 4 guy wires). Continue watering in the sand column until harvest time. Then put curved shelving (light in weight) around under the plants and hang them from the wire mesh to take the weight of the crop laden plant. Harvest when ready.
    Last edited by woodwose; 12-02-2007 at 06:55 PM.

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    City Survivalist Proud American's Avatar
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    Ok Rick lookin into what you said about findin your soils contents I went there but I cant realy find what your tellin me to look for. Im in Orange County can you give me a litle bit more im spose to look for.
    Proud American

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    Here is the Orange County location:

    http://ceorange.ucdavis.edu/index.cfm

    You can give them a call and they can give you the instructions for bringing in a sample of soil. Also, don't ignore your Master Garden program there. My wife and I have been through our local program and the amount of collective knowledge that group has is about like this forum. If Orange County is like they are here, they have a sale of the latest plant hybrids every year. It's generally a good deal offering varieties that have not yet been released for public sale.

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    Senior Member Smok's Avatar
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    Potatoes you just can not forget potatoes you can feed a family of 4 on a 1/4 acer yahoo Potatoes there are over 400 types of them if you do it right you can have potatoes coming off 9 months of the year but that depends on were you live
    Last edited by Smok; 12-07-2007 at 01:29 AM.

  18. #18

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    What you plant in your garden is going to depend on the geographic area in which you live.

    Some things you have to consider: climate, growing season (how long or short), temperature swings, waterfall/self-irrigation, etc.

    After determining what you can grow, you need to determine which of those things you and your family likes and will utilize, then you will know what to sow in your garden.
    Everything I have posted is pure fantasy. I have not done any of the things that I have claimed to have done in my posts. I actually live in Detroit.

  19. #19
    City Survivalist Proud American's Avatar
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    It says my location is California but im in SoCaL if that helps. Potatoes good idea but i dont have a 1/4 of an acre in my entire back yard!
    Proud American

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    All great ideas on what to plant. Since you have limited space, as do I, you may also want to look at how to plant (or what to plant in).

    There is a commercial product out there called Earth Box. you can find them at http://www.earthbox.com/ They are a bit pricy, but work very well. Since I'm frugal (read cheap) I have made serveral of my own. There are a bunch of sites that show you how. The plans that I have found work the best for me can be found at http://www.josho.com/gardening.htm
    Last edited by crashdive123; 01-18-2008 at 08:38 PM. Reason: corrected typo on link

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