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Old 04-30-2010, 03:16 PM   #31  
hunt and gatherer
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Default ex master gardener here

Hi everyone.

Here's a thread where I may be of some help. Some 15 years ago my doctor advised me to close a stressful business, take some time off, and plant a garden. Of course I was way overweight but I was also smoking and drinking heavily. Ugh. Bad memories. Glad those days are long gone. Back then I did everything 110% and managed to turn gardening into something stressful and competitive too. lol

Anyway, I finished my county's master gardening program and maintained the certification for 7 years. I haven't kept up with the volunteer work to rightfully call myself a master gardener now, but I grow tomatoes for market (over 1000 plants going strong), salad greens (hydroponically about 25 pounds harvested weekly), and a variety of other veggies. All the plants are open pollinated and or heirloom varieties and the growing methods are organic and sustainable. I sell to a market farmer who then sells to the public via a CSA and a couple local markets. I only pick what we eat and let him worry about the rest.

Angelskeep, I chuckled at your last comment because in another forum last year I coached some folks on making their own self watering containers. One of them finally got a beautiful "Kosovo" tomato in September and his wife called it the $250 tomato, because that's what he invested in the project. Most of my 'students' had much better results. The potting mix can be very expensive with large containers. I blend my own, but it still isn't cheap. I prefer using good old mother earth when possible.

I am not a fan of growing tomatoes or any plants upside down. I have used the method many times. I consider it a novelty. The psuedo science and false advertising in the Topsy Turvey ads gets under my skin.

I am a big fan of square foot gardening and my tomatoes are raised in a modified Mittleider Method -- very high density planting. You can google it to see just how little space you really need for a bountiful crop.

I'm happy to answer your questions. I participate in seed exchanges with farmers across the globe and happily mail free seeds of proven heirloom tomatoes to motivated backyard growers I meet in forums like this. It's not just generosity, it's keeping the strains alive and battling big ag's evil hybridization of the seed supply.
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:21 PM   #32  
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Score! I found another kiddie pool (see my post up topic on using them for container gardening) when I was walking the dog in a beautiful canyon this morning. Someone had just tumbled it down a big hillside and it has some cracks and was pretty dirty- not a problem. Later today I will fill with good soil and plant with seeds of chive, flat parsley, rocket, and India mustard, plus starter plants of globe eggplant, cayenne pepper and zuke. My other pool has an eggplant setting, some tiny snap peas, and the squash and cuke are looking lusty. Oh and the tomato plant I put in a really warm spot in a 2 gallon container has 4 bigger than golf ball greenies on it. I am SO excited.

Last edited by tommy; 04-30-2010 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:47 AM   #33  
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Bob-thanks for letting us know! I just caught this thread tonight. So far so good. Almost all my seeds are up and even the ones outdoors are doing well. I used some old washtubs and such as containers, bought the vegetable medium, and now have lettuce, spicy mixed greens and spinach coming up. Can't plant my heirloom things or the zucchini or cukes outside for a couple more weeks. Wanted to try some upside down (tomatoes) and some regular, all in containers. I have a pergola kind of thing that the tomatoes would be cool hanging from...we shall see.

Tommy-congrats on your 'nother pool! Free is my favorite price! And you must be a lot further south than I am. Even my peonies are just coming up out front...they bloom here late June...in Denver they would have already been done.

The veggies are being interesting so far.

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Old 05-05-2010, 01:49 PM   #34  
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I just thought I'd add some support here - my radishes, onions, and lettuce all sprouted (I'm attempting to grow them in pots - I live in an apartment.) My cilantro, basil, tomato and pepper plants all like the heat and humidity as well (at least one of us does). It's so much fun to see how they are doing!

I lived in WI last year, and had little luck with my tomatoes (between the cold and the squirrels there was no hope!) so I am hoping Maryland will be a better tomato place.
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:52 PM   #35  
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Happy to report that I like radishes including the spicy green tops. I am a veg lover, but this was never a veg I purchased. They grow SO fast- 2 weeks to harvest I think it was. Also happy to report I found ANOTHER kiddie pool sitting on the curb with the trash. So I plan to plant #3 today with habanero pepper, butternut squash, green beans, and more basil. Scored some onions and chard from a neighbor last night so I am going to play with that for dinner. I am in Southern California so my growing season may be further along than some of you brave souls in cooler climes.
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Old 05-17-2010, 06:33 PM   #36  
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I'm so excited! The tomatoes I planted last fall have come back with a fury, and are full of green tomatoes!

I have a very small garden, that started as a square foot garden, but has gotten a bit more "free-form" over the past 3 seasons:

tommy, this is my first season growing chard, and has really been worth it. It keeps growing and growing, no matter how much I cut it, or how warm it gets.

Finding interesting ways to use it has become a bit of a challenge. Mostly I put it in lasagne or other baked pastas. I also like it cooked in a pan, with an egg in the middle. Most recently, I stuffed some leaves:

It's a very versatile veggie - enjoy!
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