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Gary350
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Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.
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What did u learn this year to grow a better garden next year

I learned to keep seed potatoes a warm dark place inside the house for a whole month until eyes grow 2" long sprouts. Then slice potatoes in 1" pieces with 1 or more eyes on each piece. Let cuttings set for several days to scab over then plant & cover cutting with 1" of soil, with the sprout sticking up 1" above the soil. Within a week there are good size leaves and a month later a 24" tall plants with blossoms. Blossoms indicate new potatoes are starting to grow. Potatoes are a 4 month crop.

Another interesting thing, potatoes do not all produce 2" long sprouts at the same speed. Soon as a few potatoes makes 2" sprouts make cutting & plant them first. Next group of potatoes with 2" eye sprouts cut & plant them next & so on. Soon you have a full row of plants all planted at different times. Harvest will be the first cuttings planted then second an third & so on.

Next garden season no more long 40 ft potato rows I am doing a potato patch to save space. Last year was 2 rows side by side 40 ft long. This coming spring 6 rows side by side 10 ft long. So far my experience growing potatoes is 1 new potato per eye. I will plant 6 eyes in each spot spaced 6" apart with row spacing 6" apart in a patch 10 ft long. 6x6x20 = 720 plants = 720 potatoes.

I am planting onions in a patch too in the same wide row with potatoes, same width but 10 ft long row this will = 240 onions.

15 years ago I planted peppers very close together so plants would shade each other from hot TN sun, I had the best crop of pepper ever, I want to try that again. Plant pepper plants 18" apart in 2 rows 18" apart for 10 ft.

20 ft of potatoes, 10 ft of onions, 10 ft of peppers, all in the same 3 ft wide row 40 ft long. Grouping these plants close together instead of 3 ft row spacing will save a lot of garden space. What ever is planted next to potatoes needs to be gone in 3 months because potatoes plants tend to take up a lot of space the last month of their life.

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: What did u learn this year to grow a better garden next

I learned a few things this year.

I learned that I had to hand pollinate the dragon fruit and it is better if the pollen comes from another flower. I also learned not to pull off the female flowers.

Learned the determinate tomatoes can last longer than I thought, so I have to feed it more.

I got two lehua ohia to root. It is only 20% success rate, but Ohia is very hard to root from cuttings.

I love my reciprocating saw. It makes pruning so much easier and it is a lot less scarier to use than a chain saw. Too bad I can't prune tree branches with it. I get too tired trying to prune trees with a hand saw.

I need to put peppers in larger pots. A couple of them have gone to ground.

It is really not worth trying to keep a garden going in the heat of summer if it is going to be over 90 degrees every day. I may as well solarize and cover the beds until it gets cooler. It saves me time, money, and a lot of pain trying to keep summer crops alive.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: What did u learn this year to grow a better garden next

I learned that I need to start my veggies indoors and out much earlier than I was used to, like right after Christmas. And probably not make so much difference in trying to time cool weather and warm weather stuff, just get everything out there as soon as I can. And maybe not try to grow very much in the heat of summer, but work on having plants ready to start over as soon as the weather breaks.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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TomatoNut95
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Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 3:11 pm
Location: Texas Zone 8

Re: What did u learn this year to grow a better garden next

I TRY to learn each year to not start stuff too early or too late in the greenhouse. This year I started my pepper seeds too early and they were getting too leggy before it was time to plant in the garden. :lol:

PaulF
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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:34 pm
Location: Brownville, Ne

Re: What did u learn this year to grow a better garden next

Giving up on growing cherry and salad size tomatoes. Nobody in the family eats them and they take valuable space where good tomatoes could be grown. As for peppers, they need to be started earlier so production begins earlier.
Paul F

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TomatoNut95
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Location: Texas Zone 8

Re: What did u learn this year to grow a better garden next

I usually start my pepper seeds indoors in egg cartons in December. After the newborns are all up, I move them out to the greenhouse to separate into their individual pots or six-packs. This year(last December, anyway) I started them about the first of the month, because I thought they'd take the rest of the month to germinate. They came up much quicker than I expected; quicker than last years, and by the time March-April got here, the plants were leggy. But they did for me anyway, bless their little blossoms!

dveg
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Location: Austin TX

Re: What did u learn this year to grow a better garden next

Time for starts depends STRONGLY on temperature. I do my starts of tomatoes and peppers at 80F, and they're all ready to go out in three weeks. Putting a cover over the grow lights and plants (just a sheet or tarp) easily gets them to that temperature.

imafan26
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: What did u learn this year to grow a better garden next

Temperature is important. I have a much harder time timing plants for a February sale since their growth rate is so much slower. It is hard to plant peppers if the temperature is lower than 68 degrees and I don't have a heat mat. Super hot peppers like bhut jolokia start better at 80 degrees.

Tomatoes also grow slower but will germinate down to 50 degrees.

I am forced to give up on Sweet basil until someone comes up with a better tasting cultivar that is resistant to downy mildew. I can only grow TYLCV resistant tomatoes. So far I have only found three.

Only grow parthenocarpic zucchini if I want to see any fruit, but I still have to put insect netting over it or the fruit flies will not only damage the zucchini, but also the cucumbers.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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TomatoNut95
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Location: Texas Zone 8

Re: What did u learn this year to grow a better garden next

My house usually stays around an average of 70. I start the peppers indoors, and they take approx. 3 weeks to germinate. I then move them outside, where my greenhouse temperature stay at 40-50 at night.

I start my tomatoes in the greenhouse around the last of February, or first of March. They take about a week(sometimes less, sometimes more) to germinate.

When I plant, I put at least two seeds per cell or cup so in case one does not come up, the other should. If both come up and are healthy, I separate the seedlings.

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