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Old 02-14-2012, 12:43 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by HockaLouis
Short term, intermediate, long term vs. starting over as a subsistance farmer. I'm not concerned about knowing how nor being able to, just having the seeds to do it because we are NOT doing it today for tomorrow.
It truely takes years to learn good horticulture. What might work for ellis in his part of n. MS. , may not work for me 60 miles away. There are so many varibles when it comes to good results in gardening. What happens if you pick the wrong spot for your garden, it happens. All your seeds are in the ground and you have very poor results. Your family garden is not a hobby you are learning by trail and error if you wait until d day. What if the shtf in the fall? If seeds are part of your plan to furnish food for your family, it would seem prudent to follow through. MHO
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:28 AM   #22
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Short term, intermediate, long term vs. starting over as a subsistance farmer. I'm not concerned about knowing how nor being able to, just having the seeds to do it because we are NOT doing it today for tomorrow.
In all likelihood if the SHTF you will end up going to one of your neighbors who knows how to grow stuff with your bank of seeds (which may or may not be viable depending on how long they have been stored) just like a bunch of other people who have the same idea that having the seeds makes you prepared. I am thinking that the neighbor who has horticultural knowledge will not be needing any seeds from you or any of the other neighbors.

Again, I am not knocking your plan, just trying to understand it and perhaps to help you work on it.

I'll put it this way. Having seeds is like having projectiles (bullets) but not having any powder, brass, primers, reloading equipment or experience to make the bullets you have into loaded cartridges.

It is not a direct analogy but it is a good one as I see it.
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Old 02-14-2012, 03:22 PM   #23
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I agree with downsouth and Vikingdad. You can decide one spring day to
'have a garden this year,' but it takes quite a bit of planning and some
'trial and error' to have anything close to a successful one. How much shade
is there? What's growing on the ground now? What kind of soil is it? downsouth
might have delta topsoil in his garden where I have hill-country loam or clay.
I might have to deep-plow mine where he might not need to. Should you do
raised beds, and if you do how will they be built and filled.
Then what equipment is needed? Probably some kind of tiller, unless you decide to
do raised beds. Hoes, rakes, sprayers. What about trellises for the green beans
and tomatoes? Are wild animals such as deer in the area that will eat every thing that grows?
I suspect many on this forum, and specifically on this thread are not novices to gardens.
Maybe something useful to all of us would be an exchange of ideas as to what we've
worked out over the years.

For example, I've been growing early potatoes for years using the 'trench and hill' method.
Vikingdad wrote that he uses barrels and fills the barrel as the plant grows, giving him
essentially a 2-3 foot potato stem to grow the potatoes. I had never thought of that.
I don't have access to barrels but I do have a short length of 30" diameter plastic culvert.
I'm going to cut a couple of 30" lengths and, late spring, plant potatoes per Vikingdad's
method and see how it works. I've been using the 48"X16' galvanized cow panels for bean
and tomato trellises. Three metal fence posts tapped into the ground, tie the panel and it's done.
Over the years I've accumulated about twelve panels, some metal posts and a post driver.

Another thing that, IMO, goes hand-in-hand with a garden is 'sharing.' Neighbors always
seem to appreciate tomatoes and new potatoes. No one wants squash! I've been sharing
with an 'extended family' that lives nearby for years. In that family the younger ones are
working and raising families but the older ones know how to can and freeze produce. I plant
maybe a sixty foot row of potatoes and start about 50 assorted tomato plants from seed. When
it's time to dig or pick, I just let them know. In return, they keep us supplied with deer sausage
and homemade 'yeast biscuits' in the winter time.

Use heirloom seeds and practice saving them. I watched Dad do it for years. He would pick out
some seeds from a watermelon, cantaloupe, tomato and spread them on a piece of paper sack
and let them dry for a week or so on a shelf. Then mark them and store them in a little paper sack
on a back shelf in the pantry for the next year.

I apologize for rambling on. Brevity is not my forte. Point being made by downsouth, Vikingdad and
others. Don't wait until you have to do it. Rehearse for it so you'll be ready. Just like target practice.

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Old 02-14-2012, 03:29 PM   #24
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Ellis, you weren't rambling. You just made your case with examples and good sense.

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Old 02-14-2012, 04:03 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by ellis36 View Post
For example, I've been growing early potatoes for years using the 'trench and hill' method.
Vikingdad wrote that he uses barrels and fills the barrel as the plant grows, giving him
essentially a 2-3 foot potato stem to grow the potatoes. I had never thought of that.
I don't have access to barrels but I do have a short length of 30" diameter plastic culvert.
I'm going to cut a couple of 30" lengths and, late spring, plant potatoes per Vikingdad's
method and see how it works. I've been using the 48"X16' galvanized cow panels for bean
and tomato trellises. Three metal fence posts tapped into the ground, tie the panel and it's done.
Over the years I've accumulated about twelve panels, some metal posts and a post driver.

Another thing that, IMO, goes hand-in-hand with a garden is 'sharing.' Neighbors always
seem to appreciate tomatoes and new potatoes. No one wants squash! I've been sharing
with an 'extended family' that lives nearby for years. In that family the younger ones are
working and raising families but the older ones know how to can and freeze produce. I plant
maybe a sixty foot row of potatoes and start about 50 assorted tomato plants from seed. When
it's time to dig or pick, I just let them know. In return, they keep us supplied with deer sausage
and homemade 'yeast biscuits' in the winter time.

Use heirloom seeds and practice saving them. I watched Dad do it for years. He would pick out
some seeds from a watermelon, cantaloupe, tomato and spread them on a piece of paper sack
and let them dry for a week or so on a shelf. Then mark them and store them in a little paper sack
on a back shelf in the pantry for the next year.

I apologize for rambling on. Brevity is not my forte. Point being made by downsouth, Vikingdad and
others. Don't wait until you have to do it. Rehearse for it so you'll be ready. Just like target practice.
I started using barrels after a guy I know said he grows potatoes the same way in 5-gallon buckets. He cuts the bottom off of a couple of them and stacks them 3 or 4 high. I figured a drum would work better and give you more potatoes (it does). This guy is far more limited in space than I am so the more stuff he can grow vertically the better. Another space saver the I learned from him is to grow the lemon cucumbers on a trellis like the beans. I have been lusting after the cow panels for years but have not found any to date (I pretty much use recycled stuff to build everything I can and those cow panels are really expensive new.) One thing I have bought new is the Texas Tomato Cage http://tomatocage.com/, they are well worth the investment and will last forever. I used to use 6" wire fencing rolled in a cage the same size but they never last more than a couple of years before you have to replace them, and even then you have to stake them up and tie them together which makes picking the tomatoes difficult.

Sharing your bounty is one of the fun things about having a large garden, and you are absolutely right about people not wanting squash. It is by far the easiest thing to grow (IMHO) so even a black thumb can grow it. One plant will produce more than one person needs. Personally I don't grow it at all because I hate squash, zucchini in particular. That dates back to when I was a kid and my mom would force me to eat all my vegetables, which mainly consisted of zucchini, until on night at dinner I ate a mouthful of cooked zucchini and puked all over the table. She never forced me to eat it again. Crookneck squash too. Hate the stuff to this day. The only squash I grow is pumpkins. I keep dabbling in growing giant pumpkins in hopes that one day I will get lucky and have a contender in the local contest.
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:07 PM   #26
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Sauteed squash is one of my favorites.
Cut into slices, "med heat butter, onion, salt and pepper, add garlic towards the end. Yum.

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Old 02-14-2012, 04:11 PM   #27
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Sauteed squash is one of my favorites.
Cut into slices, "med heat butter, onion, salt and pepper, add garlic towards the end. Yum.
I think that's how mom made it. Yuck! (to each his own though.)
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:46 AM   #28
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Default Victory Gardening: So Easy A Caveman Could Do It

I wasn't very clear I'm sure. Years of self-suficiency are not the issue here. The seeds would be for a long(er)-term time horizon.

I have enough info at this point I think unless someone has some practical experience with the most popular kit options...

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Old 02-15-2012, 02:11 AM   #29
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"One thing I have bought new is the Texas Tomato Cage http://tomatocage.com/, they are well worth the investment and will last forever. I used to use 6" wire fencing rolled in a cage the same size but they never last more than a couple of years before you have to replace them, and even then you have to stake them up and tie them together which makes picking the tomatoes difficult." Vikingdad

Rather than a cage or staking you can grow tomatoes on a trellis just like those cucumbers. I run a section of straight fence between two rows of tomatoes and they grow up it just like beans. It really seems to increase the output, but make sure both sides of the fence get sun.

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Old 02-15-2012, 02:47 AM   #30
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"One thing I have bought new is the Texas Tomato Cage http://tomatocage.com/, they are well worth the investment and will last forever. I used to use 6" wire fencing rolled in a cage the same size but they never last more than a couple of years before you have to replace them, and even then you have to stake them up and tie them together which makes picking the tomatoes difficult." Vikingdad

Rather than a cage or staking you can grow tomatoes on a trellis just like those cucumbers. I run a section of straight fence between two rows of tomatoes and they grow up it just like beans. It really seems to increase the output, but make sure both sides of the fence get sun.
Yup, that would work very well. You do have to train the tomatoes up into the fencing though. Tomatoes are not natural climbing plants like cucumbers.
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