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Gardening Tips

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by ozarkgoatman, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Spring is alive and well here in the Ozark Mountains so I thought I would write down a few things we do in our garden.

    (1) First and foremost remember that what works for one climate/area may not work for you!!!!!

    (2) Seeing some people say that the climate is getting hotter and some say it's going to bring on an ice age. What we do is try to pick fruit/veggies that will grow in at least 2 climate regions colder and 2 hotter than the one we live in. Either way we are a leg up on things.

    (3) When we plant a tree or a bush we leave a depression (the bigger the plant the bigger the diameter of the depression needs to be) around the base about an inch deep because they need about an inch of water every 7-10 days. So you fill up the depression and you have the inch of water.

    (4) We don't grow any veggies that can cross with each other. When it's time to save seed it's no problem because you know your seeds are pure. I seen some people that grow 6 different types of tomatoe every year, and then have to buy seed every year because they don't want to cage all the tomatoes to keep the seed pure. We grow one tomatoe type and grow lots of it. Is it the best in everything no it is not, but over all it's well rounded and a good producer, plus it stores well.

    (5) I always hear people say well you can't grow everything and I agree you can't. So adjust your diet to what you can grow and grow lots of it. We can't grow coconut here so we rarely eat it. Apples and strawberries however do grow well here so we eat lots of them and are still eating them from last year.

    (6) You want maple syrup but the area you live in doesn't have many if any maple trees. No problem. We make Black Walnut syrup about every year, and it tastes great. Just tap the trees the same you would a maple and go to work. [winkthumb] Hickory, birch, and sycamore can be used as well.

    These are just a few thoughts I'm sure I'll think of a few more and try to but them on here if theres any intrest.

  2. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Cool... Thanks for posting...
  3. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    (7) I can't believe I forgot this one. When I was a young boy an old man told me to always dig a ten dollar hole for a five dollar plant. I have always done that since and never had problems with the plants that I have planted.

    (8) Let your chickens run around your fruit trees. Not only will they get alot of bugs that could be harmfull to your fruit they will also clean up any fruit that falls keeping down on diseases.

  4. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    No problem. We quit early today and I just kind of felt like writing something.

  5. duanet

    duanet Monkey+++

    ozarkgoatman hit the nail right on the head as usual. The "ultimate survival tool" is having the soil in your garden as fertile as possible, having seed that you can save for next year, knowing how to take care of the land, and actually growing the crops. You can call it a hobby, enjoy the taste of really fresh food, save money, not worry about who handled it in Chile or in between, and control what it is grown with. Then if TSHTF you are way ahead of the game as well as you have the skills, soil, seeds and knowledge to make it work. I really love those heads you win, tails you win situations.
  6. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Depending on you soil it can take years to really make it produce well, and that is if you know how to garden well. I have had lots of people tell me that they weren't to worried about it because if/when TSHTF they had their canned seeds and they were basicaly going to become instant homesteaders. Even though they had never growen anything in their life. If you live in an apartment you can still grow lots of things in pots. DW and I were gardening for years before we met each other and the garden has only gotten bigger. We both still learn new things every year. You look at the quality/lack there of, from the food you buy in a store and the price you pay for low quality crap, it's enough to make you :sick:

  7. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    On a related note: it's the knowledge thing that will 'save' you.

    A very nice gal advertised on one of my lists that she had free herb cuttings/starts to anyone who wanted them. Cool! I thought. After I finally got ahold of her, I went to her house and viewed her offerings.

    Her soil is absolute crap (but the place is gorgeous!), and she stated that about all she could grow was a few herbs. I was the very grateful recipient of full stands of chives, sage, lemon balm, (itty bit) fennel, oregano (which I don't think will make it) and horehound. The horehound she had no idea what to do with but it was pretty .....

    She knew there was horehound candy but never made the connection with medicine (something that tastes that strong and icky has to be medicinal, duh!) Well, now she wants a copy of my cough syrup (that everyone seeks come winter, says it works) that has horehound in it.

    I asked her about peppermint. She said, sure, she had a big stand of it. Knowing a little about mints, I asked her if she was sure it wasn't spearmint (*gag*). "How do you tell the difference?" :eek: Upon inspection of the leaves, I pronounced that what she had was a fine stand of horsemint (fieldmint) ......... less than what she hoped for, but [dunno].

    Might seem insignificant, but not only knowing the soil but also knowing properties of herbs and plants is also really important. Someday it might even prove to be life-saving (or life-ending).

  8. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    FD, I think we need some of your recipes. Remember, few of us know what a pinch is, so get detailed in the recipe thread. Please.
  9. Gallowglass

    Gallowglass Winter is coming

    I have a couple of friends who are big deer hunters. They have told me many times that when TSHTF they and theirs will get by just fine by hunting. One of them even laughed when I mentioned my "Survival Garden" (he had never heard the term). I guess they think they can kill something to eat every day. Hard to do even when everybody else with a rifle is not out trying too.

    I have been building my soil they last couple of years by planting and turning under buckwheat, and mulching heavily with other people's yard rakings. I firmly agree that good soil is the best prep. Time and geography keep me from working in my garden as I would like, but at least I can make good dirt.
  10. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    Something people forget is how easy it is to compost. I add all my coffee grounds, egg shells, and vegatable waste. A compost pile with black plastic over the top to help collect the heat, keep it moist and turn it frequently. Voila - compost.
  11. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    Yes, darlin'. I'll dig 'em out in the next week or so and post. Which would you like? The cough syrup? Teas for various ailments? Lotions, potions and owwie soothers ;)? Remember, few of us know what you're thinking so you need to get detailed.

    (Sorry, couldn't resist. I'll try to be a good girl now.)

    (Ok, tried. Ain't happening. [gone])

  12. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    hehehe. The recipe thread will take all you have --[booze]It has a hollow leg --[own2]
  13. oldteacher

    oldteacher Monkey+++

    I took my workalcoholic daughter food shopping this weekend. The quality food (i.e. real food) that came from safe sources was out of sight. Most of us who are buying food from the supermarket are eating junk. I have a garden and the retired county agent sells organic veggies from his greenhouse. His workers won't buy lettuce from the supermarkets because "the workers get paid by the box and it takes too long to use the portable potties." Guess where they are going to the toilet?
  14. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    OHYeaH INSTANT garderners!I ve been trying to really grow a decent garden for years; been learning alittle more every year ( school of hard knocks) and am no way satified with what i can produce ( pun?) yet. The uber deer hunters are another riot...every guy in every city thinks they'll just bug out to " the woods" with their black plastic .308" and live off the land, folks don't always get deer every year under normal circumstances, wait until theres millions of unprepared people swarming the forests with 9mm handguns . waiting for someone else to fire a shot. depressing..

    Compost, gardening and green houses could very well be the most important investment of time and money any inidependant minded individual; could make.

    I really forsee food and fresh water as the two most important commodities in our not too distant future.Wealthy folks will be haggling over dwindling petroleum. Comon serfs will be herded by food deliveries.
  15. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    Yes I have had many people tell me that they can live off the land, but when you tell them that you ate a possum or something like that, you can see their stomac turning. [LMAO] Being able to grow your own food and defend it will be the difference between life and death probably sooner than later. I think survivalist better do as my dad would say $#!+ or get off the pot, about learning to grow food.

  16. andy

    andy Monkey+++

    my wife and i would like to learn we have just bought our first house and have a good size back yard now we do live in suburbia...but we'd like to get started. were do we begin nether of us have any real experience with growing anything. my wife wants flowers, and i'd like a garden, and apple trees this might be out of my reach (for now) but i'm originally from northern VA and miss fresh apples... please help
  17. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder


    This was the first tip I wrote for a reason. What works here in my soil conditions and climate may not work for you.

    (1) First and foremost remember that what works for one climate/area may not work for you!!!!!

    That said all is not hopeless. :) Start small, get 6 toematoes plants they probably the easiest thing to grow. Even if you go to a hardware store or what ever and buy already started plants (called bedding plants). The work of getting the seeds off to a good start is already done. I'm not saying this is what you want to be doing five years from now, but it will get your feet wet this year. Don't try to over whelm yourself because it will just fustrate you and you'll quit. Make sure you have a good shovle. Dig yourself a bed say 3'X4' about 1' deep (the deeper the better). Toematoes have deep roots that can go down up to 6' so the deeper your bed the easier the roots will grow, the more toematoes you and your wife eat. [winkthumb] If you can find some good aged manure mix this in when you are digging the bed, if not try to find some fish emallsion (sp?) It's rotted fish, but works wounders on plants. Space out the plants in the bed evenly in two rows. Plant then a little deeper than what they are in the pots/plastic trays that they are in (we normally go to about the first branch). The reason for this is the roots will be deeper so the will draw up more water and the stem that you are putting in the ground will grow roots as well, so you end up with a better root system. Which all leads back to, the more toematoes you and your wife will be eating. [winkthumb] If you have trouble getting the plants out of the plastic tray then water them good and gently squeeze the tray in both directions so that it lossens up the roots, then turn it upside down and it should fall right out. you what to do as little damage as possible to the roots. Then plant them as already stated. After you have planted them give them a good drink. We like to use toematoe baskets and we put them over the plant right after we plant them. Some people like to stake them but we like the baskets. For the first week or so water them pretty good if you don't get rain. After that about once a week. When you mow your lawn rake up the grass and use it for mulch around the plants put about 6" this will cut down on weeds and help keep the moister in the soil. Another thing you can do seeing your wife would like to have flowers is buy some marigolds and plant them in the bed along the edges. This does two things, first and foremost keeps wife happy because shes got her flowers (a happy wife is a good thing[touchdown] ) and secound they help keep bad bugs off of your toematoes. Which goes back to, you and your wife get to eat more toematoes. [winkthumb] Next year you can use the same bed just plant something else in it, build a few more beds and plant a little more. It will come with time and practice, the biggest thing is to learn what works where you live. Don't be afraid to try different types of veggies each year, and different ways of doing it. That is the only way you will really learn. You could go out a buy a huge stack of books but like I have said you really have to figure out what works in your area/soil, IMHO the only way to do that is get out there and don't be affaid to try different things from year to year. One book that might be good for you is a book called Square Foot Gardening, we don't have it nor have I seen it but everone I've seen talk about reports it to good. I hope that you can understand my ramblings and that it helps.


    BTW: When you put a veggie in your mouth that you grew you will :sick: anytime you have eat something from the store.:) So don't say I didn't warn you. ;)
  18. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member


    I haven't had the time to read the entire thread, but what OGM said above is good advise. Also, look into square foot gardening. It is designed for suburbia gardens & flower beds. Nice thing with the SFG, is that you and your wife can have what each of you want. The other advantage is that some flowers are beneficial to veggies and vice-versa.

    Now, I HAD a great garden started this year, until a very HARD frost hit us in April (last frost was supposed to be in March). Lost my beans, peas and tomatoes :( oh well, I'll just get some more starters and start over again.
  19. andy

    andy Monkey+++

    thank you guys, we have allready picked out a corner of the back yard. it's out of the way of foot traffic and we can see it from the kitchen window... let you know how it goes...

  20. andy

    andy Monkey+++

    hey another quick question, are pine needles bad for soil acidic or something?
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