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2 questions; garden yield, furrows and watering

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by Mrs.Spud on April 25, 2006 09:45 AM
I have a question about yield of the garden suited to the family growing it, plus a question about furrows and watering.

We have a family of 7 and there are a lot of vegetables I want to grow, and the kids want to help with it too. But this is my first garden besides a couple tomatoe and bean plants, and I have been advised not to go too big because it can be overwhelming and frusterating. However, I want to be sure to have enough veggies for everybody. I do have the ability and space to blanch/freeze. Are there charts for yield per plant? or square foot garden space per person?

My other question is about furrows and watering.

My hubby says furrows are best because you just run the water down the furrow and it soaks the row. However, I would think it would take a ton of time to water, plus a lot of water..

My grandpa who had a very prolific garden used a hose with a gentle rain type sprinkle head--he'd go out and water with the sprinkle head.

I also wanted to try square fooot gardening but dh thinks its a stupid idea. I might try one box just because.

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Mrs.Spud: Idaho Mom
by Mrs.Spud on April 25, 2006 09:51 AM
here's what I want to grow from top of my head:

snow peas
onions from sets
green onions

radishes (have to grow those!)
turnips (kids have these seeds)

green beans


hot peppers (3 types)
bell pepper
tomatoes: including grape and roma

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Mrs.Spud: Idaho Mom
by markr on April 25, 2006 11:51 AM
i plant every thing on the flat, except potatoes!
if it was good enough for grandpa!!
next one about how much is a bit harder,,
i have books that tell you how much to expect for most veg, but i dont find this too acurate.
it all depends too much on treatment, variety and pests and diseases!
all i can say is dont try to do too much to start with, a few plants well looked after are better than loads you cant!
its a lot of work being able to provide enough for 9 people.
and you want to enjoy your time growing, dont let it become a bind!
you can always do a bit more next year!!!
enjoy and good luck. [thumb]

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by weezie13 on April 25, 2006 11:58 AM
Wow, there's lot's to cover here...
I may want to post in pieces here...
I'm tight on time...

First off, don't give up hope..
Do it slow, read, and keep comin' back here
for questions, don't hesitate to keep asking...

First question,
#1 Do you have a garden area, and is it ready to go???

#2 Do you have your plants ready or are they from seed??

* * * *

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by Bestofour on April 25, 2006 12:53 PM
That's a lot to start with. Some things you mentioned may be cool weather vegetables so that may give you a break from working too hard. Radishes are easy. Just plant the seeds and they come up and in about 2 weeks plant some more seeds and you'll have radishes for a long time. I just keep planting radish seeds until it's too cold. If you have a good spot for your tomatoes I think you can certainly have enough for 9 people. Of the cherry tomato type, I planted two plants last year and had plenty to give away all summer. How old are your children? Give them all hoes and they'll keep your garden clean. Keep us posted.

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 -  -
by Mrs.Spud on April 25, 2006 04:51 PM

First question,
#1 Do you have a garden area, and is it ready to go???

#2 Do you have your plants ready or are they from seed?? [/QB]
I'm sorry to type so much.

I have arranged for tilling, and can pick up manure from a farm. If the manure is too fresh I will buy bagged manure. The locals here just started tilling. Apparently last frost is usually end of May but the ground is workable now. The garden plot was worked for many many years every year but the old man died in 2000 so its been empty for 5 seasons. There is still a nearly weed free spot where you can see furrows.

As for cold plants, I have seeds for the lettuce, spinich, sets for onions. I know I can rotate these and if they freeze no biggie. I am not sure about peas, if they take a long time and can be rotated.

I already have starts of strawberries, and will be buying tomatoes from FFA ag program at the high school...I don't know what else they have.

I really want to start pumpkins because we have the space, so why not.

I am going to till a BIG plot while I have the rototiller, I don't have to use it all.

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Mrs.Spud: Idaho Mom
by Wrennie on April 26, 2006 12:39 AM
Mrs. Spud
Get the book Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. Isbn# 0-87857-341-0 Loads of info on how many plants yield how much, when to plant etc.
Tell DH if his method is so smart he can do the garden! [Wink]
My x-BF and his friend laughed at me and told me how stupid square foot gardening was.....until they saw the yields and how little work it was. Shut them up pretty quickly! [tongue]

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 - Summer Camp '07, July 14th weekend, won't you join us?  -
summer camp thread 1, 2, 3,4
by Wrennie on April 26, 2006 12:45 AM
Oh!! and
I use a soaker hose to water. Place it in the garden when you put in your seeds/plants so you dont have to tip toe around larger plants later. The you turn it on and walk away for a bit. tada.
Its the most efficient way I've found to water. No left behind moisture to promote powdery mildew, no water rub off, no mud puddles. I love it.

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 - Summer Camp '07, July 14th weekend, won't you join us?  -
summer camp thread 1, 2, 3,4
by tkhooper on April 26, 2006 01:57 AM

I'm sure I posted this somewhere but I can't think of where so I'll post the ones you requested.

Here is the number of plants per person for the plants you are thinking about planting. This is for fresh use. I understand you should multiply it by 4 if you intend to can your produce. And of course you need to adjust it for your families favorites and least favorite veggies lol.

lettuce 9 to 12 plants per person stagger the planting by 2 week intervals

peas 70 plants per person

snow peas I don't know

spinach 15 to 20 plants per person stagger the planting by 2 week intervals

onions from sets 20 to 30 plants per person

green onions 60 to 80 plants per person you can cut the tops down to within 4 inches of the soil and use the greens for many recipes without pulling up the entire plant and use fewer plants that way. Again staggering the planting is always a good idea.

carrots 60 to 80 stagger the planting by 1 week intervals

parsnips 20 to 30 plants per person

radishes (have to grow those!) 30 to 60 plants per person and stagger the planting in 1 week intervals

beets 30 to 40 plants per person

turnips (kids have these seeds) 20 to 30 plants per person

green beans 15 to 30 plants per person

strawberries 10 to 15 plants per person

hot peppers (3 types) 4 to 6 plants per person

bell pepper 4 to 6 plants per person

cilantro 2 plants per person

basil 1 plant per person

zucchini I don't know

tomatoes: including grape and roma 3 to 4 plants per person if they are caged. I don't have the information if they are trenched or hung but I would quadruple it for trenched and probably keep it the same for hung.

Now about germination and transplanting. At both points of the growing process it is normal to experience some losses. So you need to start more than the amount that you want to end up with. Depending on where you get your seeds some companies will give you an average germination rate. Some are very close to 100 percent. But for some things they are much lower so take that into consideration. Then you have to plan on loses when you transplant from the seedling trays to the small pots and then from the small pots to the garden. Their are ways to minimize this. Using seed tapes and planting directly into the garden at the appropriate time is one way. And it is easy to make seed tapes at home during the winter months and there is a post about that around here somewhere. Also using biodegradeable pots can limit the number of transplants you have to do. But there are drawbacks to doing that too. I think next year I'm going to try the toliet paper rolls for my pots.

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by weezie13 on April 26, 2006 03:00 AM
Mrs. Spud,
I'm sorry to type so much.

Never apologize for asking questions...
We enjoy helping new gardener's, and their plants..
So do nottttttttt hesitate to ask, and ask and re~ask if you have to....
***That is how you learn, and we all were new gardeners at some point in time too***

And you're getting some great answers here..!!!!

Great on starting the garden...
Tilling and all..
The soil and it's build up of good soil and aerations and organics put in...

Plants will thrive better with good soil..

(and it's good it's gone fallow for a few years..
That helps the soil return to health after being used for several years in a row..)

The other cold stuff, you can start now..
And start those peas... *I'm a very slow person, and haven't even started seeds yet for my plants, but I did get my peas in last week... and some are up already... they like the coolness...

Strawberries are pretty cold hardy too..
If you start to harden them off, you can get them outside too..
*I have them, and are looking nice..*
just make sure to harden them off if they are nursery bought!*

Pumpkins are alottt of fun... but are heavyyyyyy feeders, and take up alot of room... be prepared..

The book Wrennie suggested,
Get the book Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.
is a greattttttttt book... I love, love, love that book..
*Find any book on Companion planting if you want to use every square foot of your garden...
There is infinate combo's to try, depending on what you like..
Example: Basil and Borage are good plants to plant by tomatoes..

I like Rodales' Companion Planting hard cover book too.

I do alot of space saving stuff...
I have 5 raised beds, but I plant sooooo much I have to be thrifty in space..
I have fencing hoops, that are from one side to the other and grow fast growing radishes under it.
They'll be done producing by the time the cucumbers fill in....
And leaf lettuces at the base of corn...
*I also did peas, at the base of corn..
Now it was a bit shadey, and the peas didn't do all that great, but the corn was a whoppin' 8+ft tall..*(and I used it for Halloween decorations)

Wrennie also talked about a soaker hose..
They are very good.. easy on you for watering and your time... great for cutting down soil/water cause borne disease's.. and perfect for not wasting water...**and [teacher] water in the morning for best use of water for the plant.. the plants drink in the morning, and utilize the water during the course of the hot day..

The furrows are a good way to garden as well,
Depending on the plant, to plant on the top of the furrow or at the base..
Planting in the bottom parts, especially if you have low rains during the summers, keeps the plant well cool, and near the moisture..

If it needs gooooooooood drainage, on the top of the furrow is good.. that way, it's up high, roots can penetrate down into the tilled soil, and the rain will collect into the furrows and keep water down there and away from the plants...

and you talked about raddish's..
I love growing raddish's.. and I love to let them go to seed too.. they have pretty flowers, and then seed pods form, and heck I just left them..
and they re~seed for me....(I'm on my third spring with them now..)
I do have to thin or pull out and replant when some seeds fall on the ground too close and sprout right together..

* * * *

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by Longy on April 26, 2006 03:29 AM
Hey Mrs Spud. You're way in front, because the garden is already there. You don't need to start from scratch, just rejuvenate an old area.
I have a few suggestions.
If you have a big area, and it's been left for 5 years, i'm sure it will be full of weeds. Just till the lot in. Add a handful to the square yard of pelletised chicken manure, this will replace the nitrogen the rotting weeds will use up and get the earthworms and other critters moving. It'll bring life back to the soil. You will need to watch for weed seeds germinating and may need to till again in a few weeks to get rid of them.
Mulch half the area very heavily with spoiled lucerne, pea straw, meadow hay etc. If you get to be able to use the whole lot, this will be where you can plant pumpkin, potatoes, sweetcorn etc. These plants don't mind plenty of manure and if it's a bit green they handle it OK.You can also load these mulched beds up with the fresher manures if you have some and it will be a great bed next season. Add anything you can get your hands on. Compost, blood and bone meal, manures, etc. It's all good.
If you don't end up using the whole bed, the mulch will protect and enhance the soil while you get the more finicky plants organised. For the remainder of the bed, the other half, make a plan on a piece of grid paper or whatever and decide what is gonna go where. Prepare the soil accordingly. If the locals are now tilling, then they are the people to ask about exactly what preparation the soil needs. I'm sure there's a wealth of local gardening knowledge there to tap into. I had an old neighbour who used to watch me digging and sowing. Shaking his head and nothing ever grew as well as his stuff did. So one day i asked him what i was doing wrong. I couldn't shut him up. I learnt lots. My point is, he wouldn't help until i asked him to. People are like that.
My dad fed 9 kids on an area 60 feet by 20 feet for years. From Broad beans to kohl rabbi to artichokes and everything in between. You can do it. Knowledge is the key. The secret is the soil. Good luck.

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The secret is the soil.
by Mrs.Spud on April 28, 2006 12:21 PM
Thanks for all the advice, I went and took pictures today, of my entire yard..but I am so tired that I am going to do 3 or 4 pics now and the rest later....

PS. I ordered the Square foot gardening book!

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Mrs.Spud: Idaho Mom
by weezie13 on April 28, 2006 12:55 PM
I don't believe you'll be disappointed with Mel's book...
I keep it by my bed stand and read and re~read it..
**I love the Rodale's *hard cover* Companion Planting one too*

Also, another awesome duo I LOVE is
Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch..
They live in Vermont, do alot of 4 season's gardening...
*in Vermont that's quite a feat..* and have several books between them..

I often say, that if anything ever happened to the world and you had to grow your own food etc..
I would want to be those two next door neighbor, FOR SURE!!!
They've got growing things down pat, they cook with every thing they grow,
root sellers, cold season crops, canning, recipes..

Please, Please, Please keep us posted on all you do,
and how you liked the book(s) and send us pictures....

* * * *

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by Mrs.Spud on April 28, 2006 01:08 PM
I'll be back later to change sizes of pics

view of my house from front


view of island bed in front

view of garden space from upper floor through dirty window


view of south side yard with various trees and roses

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Mrs.Spud: Idaho Mom

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