Say no to B.O.!
|Purred: Fri Jun 6, '08 11:39am PST |
Okra lover here!(sliced and coated with cornmeal and flour and fried, served with white beans, yum ) I'm in N. Illinois, close to the Wisconsin border. I'm right in the zone 4 that dips down into Il.
I've been gardening for yrs, I've loved it since I was young. I practically grew up in a greenhouse, my grandparents owned one till they retired and I have pictures of myself as a baby in an infant seat on a potting bench while my mom transplanted tomatoes and the like. I always had my own little patch in my mom's garden when I was a kiddie, and have had my own veggie gardens for about 20 yrs. I like to enter the Fair every couple of years, and have had a lot of fun doing that. I grow all my own veggie starts, unless groundhogs mow something to the ground and I have to replace, or just see something good that I didn't grow. I also like to flower garden. I'm a daylily fanatic, and I like to play around with diploid crosses.
I do small scale farmers markets besides my own canning and freezing, and I have a couple gardens. The main one is 75x80. Then I have a smaller one 42x30 filled partly with a perennial herb section, plus asparagus, raspberries, a few strawberries, rhubarb, topset onions, and daylily seedlings that I'm growing out, the rest plowed to take any overflow that I didn't have room for in the other garden. Part of it is in cover crop rotation this year.
This yrs garden: This year I put in 80 tomato plants. I wish I liked the taste of tomatoes since i grow so many nifty ones every yr, but sadly I don't. I do like sauces though. A variety of heirlooms that I save seed from yearly, plus hybrids so I have a bigger quantity to sell since some of the heirlooms put out a little sparsely. 10 varieties this year, slicers, paste, cherry and grape varieties. I've had 20+ varieties at a time, but I'm doing a heavy bean/pea yr for crop rotation, so the tomatoes are on a smaller scale this yr.
I love growing potatoes and always put in a couple doz different varieties, this yr about 35 lbs went in. A lot of varieties of peppers, eggplants, 5 different bush beans, 3 of pole beans, 10+ lettuces, mesclun mixes, summer squashes- yellow crookneck, pattypans, several dif zucchini, beets, carrots, fennel bulbs, cantaloupe, winter squashes- this yr its buttercup and acorn, pumpkins, cucumbers picklers and slicers, onions, peas, okra, radishes, spinach, turnips, annual herbs- basil, parsley, dills.
When it gets too hot for the greens and they start bolting i put in fall crops in their spots- brussel sprouts, kales, and second crops of carrots, beets, lettuces etc.
I grow most things in raised wide beds that I just form with a rake and hoe. Most of the beds are 3-4 ft wide and 15-20 feet long.