Squash Miser
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:45 pm
Location: Western Colorado

Need help with Soil Enhancement & What to Plant

Hello, my name is squash miser, as you can see, and is quite self explanitory. I love squash, mainly winter squash. We grew two hills of butternut squash last year, and, though I was the only main one eating it, we ran out way to fast. I would love to grow every kind of winter squash, but we haven't got enough room. I dream of hills and hills of butternut, pumpkin, acorn, spaghetti, and any other kind there might happen to be, if only we had room.
To tell the truth, this has been the first year I've had much interest in gardening. I've always been around gardens, my grandpa still has his garden going, but due to some health problems with my grandma he didn't get some of his "usuals" planted in time. We used to live next door to them, on about three acres-sumptuous room for a dream garden. The soil was great, anything grew. We had big bowls of raspberries every other day, asparagus, corn, tomatoes, strawberries, and many other wonderful things I wish we had now.
This year my dad and I bonded over our garden. We bought the plants together, planted seed and plants together, and admired our plants together. This has already turned into a lengthy post, so I won't go on about sentimentals of my gardening experience.

My dad bought somewhere around 20-21 raspberry plants this year-two rows of fall red and one row of fall gold. Only one plant has really flourished, and one more is bearing leaves, but no apparent fruit. Dad says our soil isn't very great, but was told at the nursury that raspberries would thrive in our zone(I believe our zone is 7). There's so many things I want to plant, potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, tomatoes, eggplant, squash, cucumbers, corn, strawberries.....I could go on and on. One thing in particular I would like is sweet potatoes, but Dad says they need a sandier soil than we have.
When I dream of a garden, I dream of hoeing, tending, watering, harvesting, storing and preserving. My mom doesn't care much for the trouble of canning, but this year I convinced her to teach me the trade, so we canned 14 pints of tomatoes.
There I go, rambling again....What I really would like to know, is what kind of things could we do or grow that would enhance the soil....without much expense. Later on I would like to post some pictures to see about garden arrangement as well, if anyone has any ideas.
One last thing...I seem to always decide I want to grow something that you have to plant in the fall, but of course I don't think of it until spring...what sort of zone 7 things need to be planted in the fall?
Thanks much!

canuck
Full Member
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:15 pm
Location: interior of BC, Canada

Wow you seem to have a lot of enthusiam!! Thats really great.
I have only had a garden for 3 years now but in the begining we added aged sawdust, mushroom manure and oyster shells to our soil and we have had way too many veggies for our family of four each year. You can get the mushroom manure almost anywhere for about $3.00 (can) a bag and the oyster shells are sold at livestock feed stores in 25lb bags for about $10 (can). As for the sawdust Im not too sure -- we live in the country and there are piles of it in almost every forest around here that we just shovel up and haul away.
Good luck in your gardening!!

Squash Miser
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:45 pm
Location: Western Colorado

Yes, I'm quite enthusiastic this year, and I can't imagine not having a garden each year. Thanks for all the ideas, those are quite afforable! I don't know much about soil enrichment, so could you tell me how you incorporated this in your soil?
I'm also thinking about a crop of potaoes - probably only about 20 square feet or so. What do I need to know about growing potatoes-like good varieties, when to plant, etc. ?
Thanks!

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Roger
Senior Member
Posts: 230
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:52 am
Location: North Georgia

Hi there!

As far as planting goes, to get bigger crops you would want to plant them really early, almost as soon as the soil thaws out. Even if you get a late frost and it kills back the plant, they will come back nicely, though they will look dead for a little while.
Or you can plant a late crop as late as July for some to keep through winter, but the spring crops are usually more productive. Later than July plantings are not usually a good idea.
...what sort of zone 7 things need to be planted in the fall?
One thing you can plant in the fall that does well with over-wintering is garlic. September is a good time to plant it, and by mid-summer next year they should have nice development.

canuck
Full Member
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:15 pm
Location: interior of BC, Canada

hello there
Glad I could help with what to put into the soil--I just turn the different things into the soil as soon as the ground thaws in the spring--you could use a shovel or rotatiller (Spelling??). Its as simple as that!!
As for the Potatoes--I really like to try new things and this year I planted Nova Scotia blue potatoes--they are a really bright purple and my kids really love them. They taste exactly the same as white ones but are a nice colour--however they don't seem to really cook nicely for oven fries. Other than those I usually only go for plain old white potatoes.

Squash Miser
Newly Registered
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:45 pm
Location: Western Colorado

Canuck-when do you reccomend mixing this enhancement into the soil-spring or fall? I was thinking probably spring, but I haven't got much experience in this department. Also, what kind of quantities should be used?

My grandparents had some of those purple potatoes, I'd like to give them a try. When is the best time to plant?

Thanks for all your help!

canuck
Full Member
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:15 pm
Location: interior of BC, Canada

Hello

I usually mix anything I put into the soil in as soon as the ground thaws in the spring. I don't see that it would hurt anything to do it in the fall though.

I do not know what zone you are in, I am in zone 3b-4 and I plant in late april. It just depends on when the risk of frost is gone. You can sometimes get away with planting a little earlier than that with things like peas and carrots and beets because a light frost shouldn't hurt them.

I hope that isn't too vague and it will help you.

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