Trends in Gardening

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Trends in Gardening

Post by WoG » Thu May 20, 2010 10:56 am

Love the apparent trends in vegetable gardens. Even in the non-survivalist circles, it is apparently 'cool' to grow some vegetables. I feel good for all the local nurseries who I hope are enjoying some of the increased interest.

I've been thinking about building large - family sustainable gardens lately and how you would design them and time them, etc. It got me thinking about backup plans for your garden after I saw some posts and youtube videos of some hail storms that for the most part ruined a good deal of crops.

So my question is, if you were building a garden not for enjoyment, but for your main source of food for your family - what would you do when a storm like this hits? Let's say 3/4 plants not contained in heavy shelter (not plastic covered domes, etc.) are now dead from a storm.

Do you stagger a backup crop to start a few weeks behind your prime crop? Keep a bunch of potted plants in your garage? What are your thoughts on gardening when it counts?

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Re: Trends in Gardening

Post by CaptBrainFreeze » Thu May 20, 2010 11:27 am

Green beans, mustard greens are an excellent back up. Greens are 40 days, and hell beans will grow till the first frost so u can plant away. I have started raising gardens in surrounding areas, my land, and relatives in two other towns to help counter any weather mishaps and increase my harvest. My beans took a beating last year but survived, they are actually quite tough.
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Re: Trends in Gardening

Post by midgetyaz » Thu May 20, 2010 1:37 pm

I was under the impression that you should continue to plant new seedlings every month or so. I haven't done it, because I'm totally slack, but it might have been regarding cold weather crops.

I think it was in Four Season Gardening.
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Re: Trends in Gardening

Post by spacecase0 » Thu May 20, 2010 1:59 pm

any serious garden I do will be focused on grains to a large amount,
will have root crops next in quantity (hail can not totally destroy this one),
and vegetables as the smallest part (still quite big).

if I get good grain harvests, I store at least a years worth of food.
the root crops (like potatoes, yams, sunchoke, OCA tubers) will provide much calories and variety if the vegetables fail,

and if something wipes out my small plants, I will replant only what grows fast enough to finish in that season.
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Re: Trends in Gardening

Post by Real_Ale_Act » Thu May 20, 2010 2:40 pm

I'd consider keeping some burlap sacking around, to be second line of defense for things I couldn't grow in frames. Lay it over the chard beds or somesuch, if there was going to be hail like that. Then hopefully, less would be lost than if it were uncovered. In my experience, hailstorms that severe usually don't last very long (I am not a meteorologist, offer not valid in Great Plains states, ID or NY, YMMV, void where prohibited) so I wouldn't worry about weight buildup on the cover too much.

My garden is planned in layers, where taller plants help to shield and support smaller ones. I feel I would lose less total produce in a situation like this than a standard row-type field would lose, since basically no plant is sheltered unless you place something over it.

To refer specifically to the original post: in a home garden, since you're only about produce and not profit margin, you have the ability to wait for the plants to recover. I would guess of those crops ruined in the hailstorm that the OP refers to, something like 50% of the plants could have actually recovered from the beating and made edible produce, but the increased time and energy it would take makes it not feasible for commercial production. If the same thing you happened to your food garden, you have the opportunity to decide that some of those plants will actually recover, and to replace only some of them.

Also, unless this is your first year of gardening, hopefully you still have some stocks from last year's canning and can stretch to fit. :? Hopefully...
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Re: Trends in Gardening

Post by bananatron » Fri May 21, 2010 10:34 pm

WoG wrote: Keep a bunch of potted plants in your garage?
Some solar or wind powered grow lights (although an ate up idea) wouldn't be a bad idea for growing straight through the winter if you had the choice? Or at the very least for starting consistent seedlings early? Probably overkill for most people.

Speaking of gardening trends, I ran a trends search a while back for 'gardening' and 'economy' just to verify if there is any correlation. Might shed some light on why it's hip atm? :D


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Re: Trends in Gardening

Post by DarkAxel » Fri May 21, 2010 11:00 pm

From someone who has grown gardens as my primary food source (around here its quite unavoidable even in the best of times), I can say this: The simple answer is that once your crops are destroyed, you replant, keeping in mind that your growing season has been drastically shortened. For example:

I have seven rows of Silver Queen corn planted. Silver Queen takes a long time to mature and produce. If [insert disaster here] happens to my Silver Queen, I also have several varieties of corn that matures in less than 45, 60, and 90 days that I can use to replant.

A BIG part of farming for a living is prepping for weather, insect attacks, and garden thieves of both the four legged, winged, and two legged variety. Part of those preps is to have extra seed left over so you can replant if something happens. There's also several things you can do to extend your growing season past the first frost, like liberal use of clear plastic sheeting that you can stake out like a tent over patches in your garden. Hotbed growing is another, and a hotbed can be made with lumber and the glass panels in your storm doors.

I will say this, though. Depending on a large garden for your survival is a balance of risk. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you have to stand by and fume while Mother Nature reminds you of how little you are in the grand scheme of things. In cases like that, families around here can, freeze, pickle, and otherwise preserve as much food as possible from each harvest so that if their garden gets destroyed they won't starve. One good growing season can provide years of food if you preserve it properly.
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Re: Trends in Gardening

Post by grand94jeep » Thu May 27, 2010 10:01 pm

bananatron wrote:
WoG wrote: Keep a bunch of potted plants in your garage?
Some solar or wind powered grow lights (although an ate up idea) wouldn't be a bad idea for growing straight through the winter if you had the choice? Or at the very least for starting consistent seedlings early? Probably overkill for most people.

Speaking of gardening trends, I ran a trends search a while back for 'gardening' and 'economy' just to verify if there is any correlation. Might shed some light on why it's hip atm? :D

Not point out the semi-obvious but the trend starts to rise about 1/4 of the way into each year, right about the time growing season starts.

Also, the trend showed more activity in 2004, not 2009.

Not trying to be a dick. Just sayin'.
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