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Post  ashort on 12/6/2011, 1:10 am

This was my first year to SFG and my first year to have a garden. Dad had one when I was a kid, but it was a row garden and I hated working in it. SFG is much different! Anyway here are the top three things I learned this year - everyone feel free to add their own....

1. Plant as early as possible. Waiting too long reduces how productive a plant will be.
2. Don't be scared to rip that plant out after it starts to decline. You can plant something else
3. When it gets really hot in late July and August, most plants will not set fruit - therefore split the summer season with a second crop of hot weather crops. They foliage will grow well and then they will explode with fruit as soon as the heat breaks.
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Post  Chopper on 12/6/2011, 2:03 am

4. Do not fret about imperfection. If something doesn't work - replant!

5. Pests happen - and I think they are sometimes worse the first year before beneficials have time to find them.
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Post  llama momma on 12/6/2011, 5:33 am

6. Expand compost operation! Still learning how much finished black gold compost should be on hand to support current and future boxes. So far I'm going with the idea that you can't have too much finished compost until proven otherwise.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 12/6/2011, 9:27 am

7.. Recharge your garden after pulling late summer veggies for fall. Put in more compost! If you miss/slack off on this one, your fall is very light on the production.
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Post  janezee on 12/6/2011, 11:04 am

8. "Fall" planting starts in July...or June, but for sure not in fall.

9. Consistent watering really does equal no cracking skins or roots.
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Post  Mamachibi on 12/6/2011, 12:11 pm

10. Plant fruits that are a different color from their vines unless you LIKE baseball-bat sized zucchini.
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Post  stripesmom on 12/6/2011, 12:51 pm

11. Pepper plants will become huge in MM, so you want to stake or cage them for support. If you don't, you risk them falling over and then breaking stems and peppers when you try to support them later.

12. If you prune your tomatoes, don't stop. They will look fine one day and then fall over the next. Keep pruning and weaving them on their trellis daily.

13. Don't feel sorry for tomato worms. There are plenty of them out there. One worm can defoliate a tomato plant in a matter of days. Plus, eat your tomatoes.

14. Plant more swiss chard. It has a flavor that grows on you, you can use it in many ways and it's one of the super foods for your body. It's also pretty in the garden and will grow even when it's too cold for other things.
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Post  Roseinarosecity on 12/6/2011, 1:02 pm

15. keep a journal or notebook of what you planted, and when to expect your harvest.
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Post  boffer on 12/6/2011, 1:13 pm

16. Just because broccoli can survive sub-freezing temps just fine, it doesn't mean they will subsequently produce big heads. Broccoli does best between 40-80°F
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Post  martha on 12/6/2011, 1:18 pm

@Mamachibi wrote:10. Plant fruits that are a different color from their vines unless you LIKE baseball-bat sized zucchini.

Love it!

Prelude - (Longish - sorry!) in 2010, my back was trashed at the beginning of the season. I had brought in composted top-soil to fill in some craters in the yard. The person who filled my boxes for me used the topsoil along with the correct ingredients. The soil came complete with verticulum wilt. Therefor...

17. If you have verticulum wilt, make note of it so you don't put tomatoes in that box the next year. What I learned this year... 926169
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Post  janezee on 12/6/2011, 3:58 pm

18. The very best passive way to kill slugs is to leave your 'just finished mowing the lawn reward bottle of beer' in the garden with that last couple of swallows in it. Just lie it down in the path next to the bed, and walk away.
a.) Refills come from Walgreen's $2.99/6-pack.
b.) Wine bottles make for an even bigger, longer-lasting "Slug Motel."
c.) Don't forget to go to recycling once a week, before Mom comes over for lunch.
affraid
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Post  plantoid on 12/6/2011, 4:07 pm

Putting all our used paper and newspapers through Alison's semi commercial office shredder then putting it on the kitchen /garden compost heap & wetting it down really brings the worms up for a good feed .
It looks like we will have a high worm cast content compost this time next year.
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Post  janezee on 12/10/2011, 7:50 pm

20. Seed catalogs beget longing for more squares

21. More squares beget longing for seed catalogs

22. see #20 :drunken:
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Post  Squat_Johnson on 12/14/2011, 5:26 pm

23. Fall is the best time to grow green beans. In the spring, beetles ate holes in most of my beans. I planted Aug 15th last year, I will move that up to Aug 1 next time.

24. It's really hard to plant too much lettuce.

25. Voles are awful creatures.
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Post  ashort on 12/15/2011, 2:16 pm

26. One should probably prune suckers from tomato plants unless you want something like the monster in "Little Shop of Horrors"...
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Post  Goosegirl on 12/15/2011, 7:15 pm

27. 2 cucumber plants are more than enough for 2 people who only use them in salads.....

GG
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Post  Furbalsmom on 12/16/2011, 12:18 pm

What I learned this year... 656620
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Post  sherryeo on 12/16/2011, 1:13 pm

28. It is absolutely worth it to make every effort to get your Mel's Mix right from the beginning. I think that just has to be the most important thing. If you take shortcuts, you're just cheating yourself and your plants! It is amazing how the plants seem to love it!

29. I love fall gardening for my climate! So much more pleasant to work in this weather, the plants aren't almost audibly gasping for air, like in the hot summer, and there are less bugs to deal with! I won't give up a spring/summer garden, but I especially look forward to fall gardening from now on.
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Post  dixie on 12/21/2011, 10:27 pm

30. I don't need 8 squares of celery.
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Post  boog1 on 12/21/2011, 10:49 pm

32: if ya dont wanta plant 12 brussel sprout plant's keep your "other half" outta the "bargain racks" at lowes What I learned this year... 63597
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Post  llama momma on 12/22/2011, 6:00 am

33. Read up on preserving methods because you will have too much of something and may kick yourself later for not taking advantage.
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Post  Unmutual on 12/22/2011, 6:54 am

34. Prune all lower branches off everything, especially if they start touching the grass outside of the box. Apparently this can reduce some insect damage(stinkbugs for example).

35. Plant something other than tomatoes that moths and butterflies like to put their eggs on. Conversely, if you want a butterfly garden, plant tomatoes in it!

36. If you plant something, make sure you know what to do with the yield from said plant.

37. End of the season is a great time to have just built your new compost bins(aka: spent plant graveyard)

38. Drip irrigation is the only way to go.
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Post  llama momma on 12/22/2011, 7:54 am

@dixie wrote:30. I don't need 8 squares of celery.

I smile each time I see that post. When I pulled out all my carrots I smiled, but... omg too much silly me
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Post  Lindacol on 12/22/2011, 12:26 pm

@llama momma wrote:
@dixie wrote:30. I don't need 8 squares of celery.

I smile each time I see that post. When I pulled out all my carrots I smiled, but... omg too much What I learned this year... 926169

Actually 4 squares of celery was too much for me because mine never tasted good enough for human consumption and took forever to get going. The goats enjoyed it though. But I should have planted more carrots(currently have about 3 squares getting close to harvest and 3 just planted).
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Post  dixie on 12/23/2011, 12:07 am

39. Carrots do very well in deep tubs. Next year this will free up several squares for new things to try.
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