Posts: 11684
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: We always do too much and fail, what should we start wit

I agree with Gary that you should plant what you most like to eat.

Her Majesty uses SFG techniques which maximize the use of space and efficiency and one 4x4 foot square can produce enough produce for one person. Some of the planning work can easiy be found on the internet. There are many pre planned SFG designs.

The only thing I don't like about SFG is that I find it hard for me to plant in blocks. I am more of an intensive mixed planting person, so I tend to broadcast seeds more than row plant. I prefer to plant bigger plants like tomatoes and zucchini that take up a lot of blocks in the SFG or veggie plot in pots in their own space. They get the space they need and I make better use of the garden space with plants that can be grown closer together.

I agree with a lot of the commentators that some things just don't cooperate and produce evenly over a season. Tomatoes will give you a lot of fruit unless you cull to get bigger fruit and they will peak abundantly when the weather is just right. When temperatures soar, tomatoes will start dropping blossoms and won't set until the temperatures come down again, even heat tolerant tomatoes have their limits as to how much heat they will handle. When tomatoes, citrus, beans, and other plants ripen a lot of fruit at once, you need to find ways to preserve the harvest for the days when there won't be anything fresh to eat.

Some plants though will give you an extended harvest over a long time and can keep longer so have a longer harvest window. These are usually the herbs which will be kitchen ready whenever you need it and you just have to shear many of back (dry the stems and leaves if you want) and wait for it to grow again. Swiss chard, kale, eggplants, peppers, will produce over a long period of time if you keep taking the fruit and older leaves off and can live more than one year in a mild climate.

Figuring out how many of each plant you need and timing is everything.

You can always give the excess to friends and family and if you plant a row for the hungry, there is usually at least one food bank that is willing to take perishables.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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