xray_a
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Location: Western MA

what to plant in an unused plot?

My apartment complex has a community garden that I currently have 2 plots in. There are several large areas that have gone unclaimed and are now covered with small weeds. I was thinking of staking off some of this space and planting... something, not sure what though.

I live in western MA, zone 5. I love potatoes (I'm Irish, how could I not? haha) and was thinking of putting in some Yukon Golds. I am already growing Russets in one of my other plots. Or maybe some type of red potatoes. Or perhaps some eggplants? I saw some starters at Whole Foods the other day that had been marked down drastically. Or maybe some small sugar pumpkins? If I got them germinated indoors and in the ground ASAP, I would be within the 100 days it takes for them to mature. Our average first frost around here is October 17.

So as you can see, my ideas are all over the map, but any ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Angela

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rainbowgardener
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You don't say how big an area you are talking about. If you have the space, it's not too late to plant a block of sweet corn!

Otherwise I would think bush beans, cucumbers, bush zucchini all of which like the heat and are quicker ripening than pumpkins.
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xray_a
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Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:43 pm
Location: Western MA

it would be a minimum size of 8 x 8. That's the size of each of my other 2 plots. I could definitely mark off a bigger area than that though. I am already growing the following in my other 2 plots:
tomatoes (2 varieties)
red bell pepper
jalapeno pepper
carrots
lettuce mix
peas
bush beans
summer squash
peas
onions
Russet potatoes
icebox watermelon
zukes
herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary and parsley)

I wouldn't be opposed to planting sweet corn and maybe some pole beans to grow among them? I will be putting down black plastic mulch whatever I do, to save me from having to pull all those weeds. I was also thinking of planting some sweet potatoes, if I could get my hands on some Georgia Jets, which take 90 days to mature.

garden5
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You could try some small pie pumpkins. Some of them have very early maturity dates. As RBG said, pretty much all summer squash is fast maturing as well.

As far as eggplants go, it may be a little late, (though I really have no place to comment on these as mine turned out to be tomatoes :lol: ) but I've heard that they to prefer warm weather and lots of it.

There are even some early-maturing watermelon varieties.
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xray_a
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Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:43 pm
Location: Western MA

I have decided to plant a stand of sweet corn (a hybrid called Early and Often with a maturity date of 64 days), some pole beans, some sugar pie pumpkins, butternut squash and a couple of hills of Yukon Golds.

The area I marked off is a lot bigger than I originally estimated. We measured it yesterday and its 20 x 30 feet. I already have a 6 x 30 strip cleared of weeds for the corn to go in.

I also scored a huge pile of lawn clippings from my boyfriend's landlord. They don't use chemicals on their lawn and it's basically a huge clover field with a little grass thrown in. :) My plan is to add some of this to the area the corn is going in to help with the nitrogen. The rest I will use as mulch for my other plots. He also said I'm welcome to take the clippings for the rest of the year if I need them, saves him from having to bag them up and dump them.

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jal_ut
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Sweet corn would be my choice. Plant rows 30 inches apart and seed spaced a foot apart in the row. Good Luck. Oh, never mind the beans to climb the corn. If you want beans plant half of the area into beans. Both the corn and beans will thank you. If you don't want to push poles or make a trellis, plant bush beans.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

xray_a
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Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:43 pm
Location: Western MA

well I put my sweet corn in the ground today. I ended up planting 50 seeds in a sort of zig zag pattern. They are close enough together I think to help with pollination, the zigging and zagging will let me get to the plants from a couple of different angles come harvest time. :)

I will probably end up hand pollinating them too, once they start to silk. I love me some sweet corn and hopefully will have enough to freeze for winter.

And my Yukon Gold seed potatoes are in the mail from Maine, so in a few days, they will be going in the ground. My sugar pie pumpkins and butternut squash seeds have been started in their own peat pots and I will but putting those in once I can clear the ground.

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