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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Sep 6, 2018 6:10 pm 
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Location: conifer,colorado
Planning on doing raised beds for tomato plants next year.. What kind of soil should I use and how much ?
Also how deep should it be ? Want to get stared early..
Oh this would be outside .. No green house ..
Appreciate any suggestions ..
Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Sep 7, 2018 6:22 am 
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Wow TB you must love green beans! Do you can or freeze them? Or both?
I don't grow them (I'm allergic to legumes) but it sure is fun to watch them grow.

Too bad your season is late on the tomatoes and cucumbers. I've had a bumper crop this year on both. More canning for me this weekend on both.


chai girl - yippee, new raised beds :multi:

Good soil is VERY important so use the best that you can afford. There are lots of brands both bagged and by the truck load. You'll get different recommendations from every different gardener. I mostly just warn against cheap "top soil" and crap like Miracle Gro. I recommend talking to the people at one of the nurseries (like OTooles, Jareds, etc.) and let them know what other amendments you are considering.

You'll also need lots of compost! I like EKO and the Sheep & Peat from Rocky Mt Soil Company. But since you need so much when getting started with a new bed, you're probably best off finding someone locally with well compost horse manure or llama poo.

Most people add other amendments too like peat moss, coca coir, worm castings, bat guano, rock dust, perlite, etc.

I recommend building the beds now and allowing the new soil to settle in over the winter. In the Spring you could send a soil sample in for testing and then see what else might need to be added.

For tomatoes I'd say 2 ft minimum depth of really great soil. How much you dig down or build up is a personal preference. People rarely regret building beds super deep but many gardeners lament on not having them deep enough. It also depends what type of soil you are building on. In you have nice, rich meadow soil then it doesn't need to be too deep. But if it is just decomposed granite then the deeper the better.

Most of my beds are ~3ft deep (on decomposed granite). The bottom layer is rotten wood, sawdust, etc and cheap/unwanted dirt. This is a variation on the Hugelkultur method (I always have to look up the name). I highly recommend this approach.

Don't forget to put 1/4 inch hardware cloth under the beds as you build them. Anything with larger openings will not keep out the voles. Use a continuous width of hardware cloth and make sure critters can't work their way in along the edges. If it is over lapping sheets, then wire them together as the weight of the soil is not enough to keep them from separating the layers to get in.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Sep 7, 2018 7:11 am 
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:yikes: FROST :yikes:

I got on earlier this morning to talk about the frost and got side tracked by the above. :lol:

Well it never fails. I get a damaging frost the first week of September almost every year. Mother waited until the last day of the first week, but she delivered as expected.

I've been anticipating this and have been covering the things that needed it every night. However, all leaves were already wet from the evening rains, so the covers didn't make a huge difference.

My neighbor's online info says it dropped to 31. My covered deck thermometer concurs. But I think it must have been quite a bit colder out in my garden. That was a thick layer of frost. :thud:

Well this marks the beginning of the end for my summer outdoor garden. But this also means sweeter kale, broccoli, carrots, etc. while they last :applause:

I've been setting up the greenhouse for the winter. But it still needs tons more work.


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Sep 7, 2018 7:14 am 
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CooknThyme, I do like green and wax beans but I have to admit that this year I'm getting way more than I can eat or can. We usually have a frost here the 3 or 4th week in August or the first week in September. Luckily for my squash and tomatoes, the frost haven't happened yet but I really don't want to see another green bean. So, the next pickings I'll start to give away.

I do have a lot of tomatoes just starting to get that yellowish color. Before our first frost, I'll pick them and ripen them indoors.

Oh no, a frost at your place! We had 40°F last night, not too bad. You are so fortunate to have that wonderful greenhouse so you can grow lettuce and cool season vegetables in there.

My husband keeps asking when my garden will be over and we can make a trip back east. I just cannot leave the garden and whatever produce I can get until the first frost. Hmm, he and I are wishing for the opposite effects. I hope I win.


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Sep 7, 2018 7:43 am 
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I have a small garden at home (Brook Forest Estates 8900 ft) and a big garden at Mom's across from Wilmot. Everything in the big garden was prolific, peas, beans, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, & Banana peppers. and at home my tomatoes produced much heavier, which, I admit wasn't saying much. However, the point of this is that I plant scarlet runner beans every year. The bees love, love, love the flowers (and they produce the most enormous beans I have ever seen), therefore the pollination rate of the other plants is increased radically. I have already frozen 15 Qt of beans and will pick again tonight. I will post pics of the beans. they boggle the mind and also taste good.

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Sep 7, 2018 7:50 am 
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I've thought about planting the scarlet runner beans, I think Local Person has posted about them. My blue lake pole beans did great in just a short bed and I think the beans are tastier then my other green beans and yes, the pods are much longer.

Maybe I'll try the scarlet runner beans next year. I sure could have used a lot more bees this summer. Thanks for the post, Starryskies.

I've canned 35 pints of wax and green beans. That's enough for about 3 years for us. I used to freeze vegetables but then I wanted more room in my big freezer for meat sales and other stuff like baked goods and single night meals for me and my dear hubbie.


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Sep 7, 2018 8:26 am 
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TillerBee wrote:
I've thought about planting the scarlet runner beans, I think Local Person has posted about them. My blue lake pole beans did great in just a short bed and I think the beans are tastier then my other green beans and yes, the pods are much longer.

Maybe I'll try the scarlet runner beans next year. I sure could have used a lot more bees this summer. Thanks for the post, Starryskies.

I've canned 35 pints of wax and green beans. That's enough for about 3 years for us. I used to freeze vegetables but then I wanted more room in my big freezer for meat sales and other stuff like baked goods and single night meals for me and my dear hubbie.


TB: Correct - we have two 8 foot tall tepees full of Scarlet Runner beans and one tall fence of Sunshine Runner Beans. The hummingbirds and bees love them, but I gotta admit I'm sort of getting tired of picking buckets full! :) We also leave some of the beans on the vines to fatten up then dry the seeds for next years plantings and also for soup.

The rest of the garden is swamping us with food, and our neighbors are avoiding us when we show up with more zucchinis.


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Sep 7, 2018 11:47 am 
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I will have to try the Sunshine ones. The only downside is their propensity to climb anything. They were totally entwined in my hanging tomatoes before I realized they were tall enough

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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Sep 8, 2018 4:25 pm 
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It is wonderful to see all the pictures and read how everyone's garden has been doing, and what you have been doing with all that produce. Thanks so much for sharing.

I haven't posted any garden status lately, so here goes. Overall my garden has done well this year with a few exceptions. One was mystery squash. I planted zucchini and yellow squash (direct seeded) and when they popped up so do a few dozen other squash seedlings, must have been seeds from prior years in my compost. I pulled out what I thought were the uninvited guests but it was hard to tell what was what. Ended up with zucchini, yellow squash, acorn, patty pan?, and a few that may have reverted to their hybrid heritage (odd shapes and color).

Had a nice variety of greens this year, two types of kale, romaine (both green and red), bibb, escarole, spinach, and radicchio. I tried Red Russian kale and radicchio for the first time this year. The Russian kale was much larger than I expected, shading my Tuscan kale, so I had to keep hacking it back. Radicchio did not do well. Half the plants where looking great then within a few days they shriveled up. The ones that survived had great flavor, so I will try again next year and see if I have better luck.

I have been freezing snow peas, beans, carrots, beets, and Swiss chard. Pulled the garlic back in early August and put it in storage. Same with potatoes, mid August. Cauliflower did not do well this year, not sure why since it usually does fine. Broccoli did well, produced main heads in July and has been producing side shoots ever since. Fennel did well this year, still have a few bulbs in the garden. Onions did not bulb for me this year, I usually don't have this problem so I wonder if this was due to the warmer weather we had. Here are pictures of a couple of harvests this week.

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Sep 9, 2018 10:47 am 
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Beautiful harvests. Really nice!!!
:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:

:rof laughing: Mystery squash! :pounding:


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Sep 9, 2018 12:18 pm 
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I agree, great harvests from your garden conifer4. Very impressive variety. I wonder if so many of us are having such an abundance of produce this year because it was much warmer - the drier weather we can overcome with watering.

I had a mystery squash once, a cross between a pumpkin and a delicata squash; it was huge and delicious. I had saved the seeds from a pumpkin and used them the next year to get the cross.

I've never been able to grow beets; yours are really nice looking as well as the nicely formed carrots.

Thanks for posting.


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 Post subject: Re: 2018 Gardening Plans, Progress, Successes, Questions
Post Posted: Sep 10, 2018 4:43 am 
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TillerBee wrote:
I wonder if so many of us are having such an abundance of produce this year because it was much warmer - the drier weather we can overcome with watering.


I think so too, at least for those veggies that like the warmer weather. But even most of my cool weather veggies performed pretty well under shade cloth this year.

However I'll take the lower yields in strong preference for cooler temperatures. I moved to 9000 ft to escape the hot summers, even if it meant more challenging gardening experiences.


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