Garden Prep

Discussion in 'Survival & Sustenance Living Forum' started by TLuker, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    It's about time to start getting ready for spring planting and I thought this would be a good time to post favorite gardening tips?

    My tip: Start a compost box for your scraps, clippings, and leaves (anything organic) , and keep it downwind. It smells like s*^$ but it makes plants grow like it and dramatically cuts down on the fertilizer you need.
     
  2. damocles

    damocles New Member

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    I live near Philly, with the questionable soil around here, I prefer raised beds. Anyone know some good shade tolerant veg?
     

  3. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Compost is an excellent thing. We sort of compost directly- I use a leaf vacuum that sucks up and grinds leaves. Dump in garden, add some lime (oak leaves- tannic acid) and turn them in. Keep right balance of green/brown added to compost, no meat or bones, keep it turned, it will get HOT (some of mine have run at 165 degrees) and very little smell.

    Shade tolerant depends on what you plant, and how much sun it needs. Various lettuces go well in semi-shade. Seed catalog reading time!

    This is also good time to be getting gardening gear in shape. My hoes and shovels get a file on the cutting edge, coat of linseed on wood handles, check power equipment- fresh oil if you did not change in the fall, fresh fuel, check air/ fuel filters, etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  4. bkt

    bkt New Member

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    Greens - lettuce, mustard greens, chard, roots - carrots, onions, garlic, leeks, as well as peas and beans are shade-tolerant. I'm not sure how broccoli is in the shade, but it produces much better for me in cooler weather.

    It's about 15 out right now and the ground is frozen. Nothing I'll be able to do to prep the outdoor raised beds until March or April.
     
  5. Birchhatchery

    Birchhatchery New Member

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    chicken manure is great high in nitrogen my tip to anyone is buy Heriloom seeds that can be harvested and replanted yearly then if the !HTF we dont have to worry about getting seeds to plant next and if it dont well at least we dont have to buy seeds next year
     
  6. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    We picked up a greenhouse from Harbor Freight a couple of weeks ago. Still have to put it up though. We will be starting the tomatoes (all heirlooms, need full sun) indoors here pretty soon. The weather is really weird this year so not sure how things are going to go. We haven't had much in the way of a winter yet. (it was in the 50's and 60's today and it is 44 right now). We have not had much rain, just under 10 inches where we normally would have more than double that by this time of the year.

    My compost pile is running year round. If properly managed your compost pile should not be nasty smelling at all, if it does smell bad you are doing something wrong. Be sure to turn it over regularly to introduce oxygen into the pile. Keep it turned up. Worms help a lot as well. I have a composting horse manure pile next to it (I replenish this yearly and about 2 or 3 years ahead of time.) and keep that turned up as well.

    Tomorrow I am meeting a guy who is going to teach me about grafting fruit trees. I have done some in the past with marginal success but I have never been given a lesson on how to do it properly. I am entirely self taught so far.

    Bat guano ($hit) is a great very high nutrient amendment to add to your soil, but that is difficult to come by. Little buggers are difficult to toilet train.
     
  7. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    Heirloom Seed Kits

    On that very subject... Who sells the fairest priced, maybe regionally focused, freshest heirloom seeds kits of varying sizes that'll store well? I've been planning on buying one but want to wait till it won't freeze in shipping!!!
     
  8. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    If I buy any seeds I buy 'em locally. That way there is no "regional" mistake. The seed viability should be listed on the individual seed packages as in date they were packaged, what percentage would be viable at the time (should be 90% or higher for heirloom) etc. etc.

    No seeds will "store well" for a long time. Over time they lose viability. that's where the percentage goes down. A 50% viability means only half the seeds will sprout. I have had some beans that have been upwards of 80% viable after ten or more years. Not so good with corn.

    Get your seeds (or maybe seedlings) from a local grower. Make sure the seeds you save have been dried thorgoughly before storing them (if not they will mold/mildew and kill the seed). With my beans I will leave them to dry out on the windowsill well into October before putting them in the jar for next year.
     
  9. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    I really just want, need, to get a kit of seeds to stick in the 'fridge. Agway is my only other best option and the kits should be better and cheaper.

    It seems about a half dozen places kinda dominate the web with packages of long-term storage kits... Looked at Heirloom Seed a coupla years ago but have not bothered -- stuck with intermediate term supplies. This is a whim for friends and I, and for the low price this insurance seems worth the investment...

    I can't find seeds for baloney!
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  10. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    If you aren't going to grow them then why have them? Sticking them in the fridge seems to be foolish to me, sticking them in the ground makes more sense. You can grow the plants from the seeds and year after year produce your own seeds replenishing your seeds in perpetuity. Putting them in the fridge will only reduce their viability over time. (personally I store my seeds in the pantry. Any dry cool place will do)
     
  11. jordan89

    jordan89 New Member

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    I actually read somewhere that storing seeds in the freezer not the fridge helps protect the seeds. But they were just referring to storage between growing seasons...if I find that link i'll post it.

    Edit: not what I was looking for but here.

    http://www.seedforsecurity.com/article.php?articleid=27

    Although long term seed storage can be avoided with proper rotation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  12. ellis36

    ellis36 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here in N. Mississippi, as Feb. 15 approaches, it's time to plant the potatoes. I have the furrows open, fertilizer already applied and a layer of oak leaves in the bottom of the furrow. A row of white and a row of red. This morning the temp. was 17, but a warm-up is predicted for the end of the week. Also time to start the tomato plants.
     
  13. Birchhatchery

    Birchhatchery New Member

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    Patriots Supply is were i got my survival seed bank lots lots of seeds i just bought one say it good for 5 years i just bought it to store seeds in case i need them i just leave them set in my room on the dresser 60 degrees and dry in their their double seadled and in a container other than that i buy my seeds from the amish locally i just like to have a good mess of diffrent seeds avaible in case you no somethin happens and the patriots survival seed bank is good deal! also local seeds least for here they grow em southern indiana
     
  14. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    I do my potatoes in 55 gallon drums. I put about a foot of soil in the bottom, plant three or four pieces of potato. When these plants get to be about 8 inches tall I bury them with more soil. Keep it up until they barrel is full. This works great for me. When digging the potatoes I just dump over the barrel. Works like a charm. I have 5 barrels for potatoes.

    Be sure to use barrels that have not had any chemicals in them. My barrels came from a newspaper and had India ink in them. I burned them clean and they have been in use for 15 years or so.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  15. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    Viking;
    There is an avenue of preparedness that suggests self sufficiency through supplying your own food including growing and harvesting it. I am not, nor are my friends, farmers (herb and vegetable gardens as well as chickens notwithstanding). And we don't want to be. But we could and would have to be under some extreme circumstances that last years. That's why the seeds. That's why the kits/seedbank/storage product availability.

    We're not looking forward to it but there could be a time when people have nothing but time for that kind of thing...

    Sorry -- don't mean to hijack the "tips" thread and should start another.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  16. ellis36

    ellis36 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Great idea! I see you know about potatoes.
     
  17. TLuker

    TLuker New Member

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    There's an Irish joke in there somewhere.:D

    Now I know were I've been going wrong with my compost (not tuning it). I do add fish parts to it on occasion and that adds to the smell also, but its worth it.
     
  18. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    I do understand where you are coming from, but I don't understand (and I am not knocking the concept, just trying to figure it out) how one could reasonably expect to one day start growing enough food to support their family under SHTF scenario if they don't practice it on a smaller scale with the seeds that they are banking on for the future. Keeping your seed bank fresh is incredibly important for most plants. Unfortunately the plants that freshness is not an issue with are weeds:rolleyes:.

    I would suggest that one would plant at least some of the crops that you have purchased for storage just to learn how they are grown. Say one row of wheat, a couple of tomatoes, some corn, only a few seeds from each package. Learn how to process wheat when it is ripe. ( I have no idea how to do this myself). My point is that doing is knowing.

    On another related subject, today my son and I spent several hours with a guy who taught us how to cut and store scion wood for grafting (with chestnut), then he taught us how to make several different types of grafts on apple trees. I have fumbled around with it in the past with marginal success and I learned volumes today, this will help me to become more successful in the future. Grafting is an art that cannot be learned on the internet, at least not in a greatly useful way. Doing it is knowing it. Oh, and another thing I learned I was doing wrong was using the wrong tools. A specially ground very sharp knife is almost an absolute requirement for the proper cuts. I had been using a typically ground very sharp knife that would tend to cut a curved whip rather than the straight whip that is needed.

    Anyhow, great day learning something that I am putting to practice this week and long into the future.
     
  19. Birchhatchery

    Birchhatchery New Member

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    i have to agree with Viking even tho i have been blessed with living on a farm my whole life and learning how to do things with my hands. i agree folks should as least learn how to grow crops on a small scale how to weed cultivate side dress with fertilizer etc folks should also learn how to kill slaughter a chicken coon deer and such that way when the time comes when they need to do it their not wondering HOW
     
  20. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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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.