Next Year - Yes already! (REALLY LONG)

Pardon me if this is a duplicate post. I think the original may of been eaten though. :D
At any rate, we are down to tomatoes and peppers in our garden. Several things happened this year that made us rethink our gardening plan. First, we did *all* of the gardening at my in-laws place. Now, we are there often enough, but this year we had a death in the family, I got sick and I hurt my back so the garden got rather full of weeds. Also, I had a "plan" that I thought I could manage but my husband and his mother kept "adding" and in the end it turned into more than I could handle on my own. On top of that, we had a not so wonderful summer weather wise so things didn't produce (except the weeds!) as well as we might of expected. Still, overall it was an excellent experience and we did reap some rewards. So far, next year we're thinking that at the in-laws we will plant corn and greenbeans which are pretty low maintenance and since the green beans are something the MIL likes/wants/requests she will help maintain them a bit more. We will upkeep the strawberry patch we started, which the FIL hopes runs out of the garden and over the hill towards the creek and chokes out a bunch of the other plant life around there. Hee hee. I'm guessing that the MIL will plant squash because she likes it and she did it this year (too bad it got fungus and died, I know that was a huge disappointment all around and I'm being serious, not sarcastic.) That's it for their place, anything else there I will not be responsible for. In fact, I will barely be responsible for the corn and green beans. :D Now, the big change, gardening at hour house!! Our yard is basically a large L shape with the end of the L hiding behind the garage so one often thinks the yard is just a big rectangle. Behind the garage is where our new garden is going to go. Since our yard tends to retain a LOT of water and given this year's weather and the realization that things happen that prevent hours of weeding in the garden plus going back to work full time we've decided on container gardening, more to the point, considering tire gardening, which is something I didn't know about until Pat showed the resources to us. After poking around back there I am figuring on 16 tires arranged like this: | || | and we are putting pea gravel in between to make the aisles attractive and easy to navigate. Now I need to figure out what I'm going to plant. I am figuring one tomato or pepper plant for a tire which takes out 6 tires if I go with three tomato plants, three pepper plants. (actually, 2 bellpepper plants and then one tire of jalapeno peppers which I think 3 jalapeno plants in a tire). This leaves me 10 tires to plan and agonize over for the next few months.. Yay! I just need to figure out what I'd most like to have. So, is any one else as neurotic as I am and thinking about next year?
BTW, yesterday we were raking the yard and noticed our backyard neighbor (the yards meet up and there is no fence yet) has a HUGE apple tree and TONS of beautiful large large apples. I think I am going to walk around and introduce myself and ask if I can take a bushel. I think they must be pretty easy going because they allow our other neighbor to practice fly fish casting across their lawn. Hee hee.
Heather H.
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On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 11:50:10 GMT, Heather Husvar

We put three bell-pepper plants per tire this year, it was enough space for them. They did well.
The tomatoes - caged - nevertheless will need more room - they overgrow adjoining tires otherwise. You can spread the tires out some, or you can harvest spring stuff from a tire first (lettuce, Asian greens) and let the tomatoes just shade it out later in the season.

Not neurotic, just a gardener! :) Winter is for planning the next year, that's why we have winter. :) And to rest...
With 16 tires, I would tend to concentrate on stuff that we cannot get here in the stores - fresh and of good quality - particularly salad greens, Asian greens, chard, beets, also basil and a few other herbs. (Fresh basil is irreplaceable to me.) I grow a lot of Asian greens (can't buy them here, and they're FAST - this is a good characteristic).
Beans you'll have from your MIL's place, so that's OK.
With 16 tires, I wouldn't plant the things I can buy cheaply and of decent quality: potatoes, onions, carrots, corn in season, cabbage.
I will plant these next year - except corn - but we'll have about 60 tires plus the hoophouse, so I'll have room for them.
Think succession plantings: you can get a crop of lettuce or baby bok choy out of a tire in time to plant a tomato in it.
Mel Bartholomew's book 'Square Foot Gardening' is a really good guide for tire-gardening, IMHO. He can be overly dogmatic (most writers can), but you can easily adapt his ideas to tire-gardening. And they pay off in less-labor, plus more harvests.
Pat
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*trim*

Thank's Pat, I'll check it out from the library next week if they have it. If not, perhaps in November I'll buy it! :D
Heather H.
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On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 18:45:10 GMT, Heather Husvar

If they don't have it, they may be able to get it for you on inter-library loan. I do this all the time, I'm undoubtedly our library's best 'customer' for inter-library loan.
But if you do have to buy it, if you look here:
http://www.addall.com/used
you can get a listing of all used books for sale online, by price. I just did this with 'Square Foot Gardening' and copies are being sold as low as $3.50.
Pat
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On Wed, 17 Sep 2003 11:50:10 GMT, Heather Husvar
PS - Heather...as a PS to my previous post.
1. I'd really encourage you to read 'Square Foot Gardening' if you haven't already. Also, be sure to read his website, he's updated a few of his ideas and the updates are on the website.
http://www.squarefootgardening.com
The only real difference between 'tire gardening' and 'square foot gardening' is that tires are round rather than square, and tires are smaller than his recommended raised beds.
Bartholomew is especially helpful on the 'what to grow' and 'how much to grow' questions, IMHO (except that he doesn't cover the Asian greens and other exotics.)
2. If you think 'succession planting' - at least in my area - this absolutely requires that you start your own seeds.
I had lettuce transplanted outside (into containers on the deck) by April 2 last year. I had bok choy, choy sum, chard, and hon tsai tai also growing outside in early to mid-April. I started a bit late, they could have been growing outdoors in late March - and probably in mid-March with a bit of floating row cover to protect them.
There are no plants available to purchase that early in spring in this area. There just aren't any at all here in stores until mid-May.
We have four plant-starting shelves with fluorescent lights in the living room (we've no place else to put them - if we had a cellar or extra bedroom, we'd use it for this purpose), but you can also start seeds on a sunny windowsill.
Pat
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