View Full Version : February 2011: Northern Hemisphere Humans, Are You Ready?
6th February 2011, 04:09
February 2011: Northern Hemisphere Humans, Are You Ready?
...to plant your organic garden?
(I apologize for the drama, but it could get very dramatic this year for those who do not have a garden.)
Food prices at an all time high, and rising (prices will skyrocket if oil price goes up or US dollar devalues)
Genetically Modified (GM/GMO) crops covering agribiz fields
Weakened organic laws allowing more inorganic and GM crap in our food
Gardening is fun, centering, grounding
Nothing tastes as good as food you have grown
You know exactly what is in the food you have grown
Gardeners have great sex lives, well into the octogenarian years
Food will be a precious commodity if stock market crashes
You will be outside! You will make plenty of vitamin D!
Did I mention it is healthy - body, mind, and spirit - to garden?
This really does NOT just apply to living off the grid; every family should have a garden! If you have no tillable soil, or bad sun exposure at your house, or live in urban jungle, find a plot of land to garden in the suburbs or rural area, if you must. Check your city or county and see if there is a gardening club - if yes, join it! You'll get all the help you need, even if you are a complete beginner.
If you have to buy everything, including strong fencing to keep out animals, you might spend $200US to $300US for the first year for fence, posts, plants, seeds, etc. but, you can easily get $500 worth of organic food from a 20 foot x 20 foot (6m x 6m) garden. After the first year, it may cost only $100 to plant the same garden again. Each year, you build the soil - it gets better, your food gets better.
If you live in the top half of the northern hemisphere, it is time right now to order seeds, start (some) plants from seeds, secure a gardening plot, plan your garden. Right now, seriously, don't wait, Mother Nature has no mercy on laggards. :cool:
You'll find thousands and thousands of pages of info, free gardening info, on the Intertubes. Google away, but remember that for the planning and diagnosing stages, you can be a keyboard warrior, but for planting, tending, and harvesting, your hands will be in the dirt.
Here is the official Avalon thread to visit for more info:
Happy gardening, my friends!
Invite me over to sample your harvest - you're always welcome at my table!
6th February 2011, 10:52
That's all very well but success in growing your own also depends on insolation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insolation) (the amount of solar radiation falling on a given surface area in a given time - not to be confused with insulation). In these days of chemtrails, freezing winters in the Northern Hemisphere, etc., the degree of cloud cover has a big effect on insolation. Here in Australia, widely thought to be the land of abundant sunshine (also floods and bushfires), the drop in insolation caused by La Nina (presumably) has resulted in a colder, more overcast summer, delaying ripening of our tomatoes and other veggies. However, the extra rain has helped. But you can't have warmth, sunshine and rain unless you live in the tropics. Better start building hothouses (greenhouses, cold frames).
6th February 2011, 12:05
Thanks a lot for this thread.
Just a question ... isn't it too soon to plant your organic garden in Duluth in February?
Anyway I'll follow your good advises.
Have a good day
6th February 2011, 15:15
srt8thinker, there are a few tricks to help out vine ripening on plants like tomatoes and peppers, even though we had a cool summer last year (and the year before that was disastrous for tomatoes.) Black plastic, or even better: black landscaper's cloth, covering the soil for the tomato and pepper plots. It warms the soil, holds the heat longer, lengthens the growing season just a bit (and at the very end, you may need to throw some plastic or sheets or blankets over the tomatoes and peppers when frost is possible.) Your idea of a hothouse can also be used somewhat in a garden setting, putting transparent ot translucent plastic over plants. (That helped quite a bit for me last year in my carrot patch. I planted, then covered the whole patch with clear plastic, getting a high percentage of carrot seeds to sprout and grow, rather than the typical situation where many shallowly planted carrot seeds dry up before they got a chance to take hold.)
Australia is a big continent, with lots of variance in climate, so I would suggest checking with local "master gardeners" or the equivalent, and/or what we call "county extension" services in the US. Many universities also have agriculture departments, and though they may scoff at you when you insist you are growing organically (they are trained in and indoctrinated in chemicals), they do have lots of knowledge to glean. If you haven't checked around, you'll be amazed how helpful gardeners can be. Actually, you folks in the southern hemisphere are probably harvesting, canning, and drying right now.
Louis, yes, I would have to move quite a bit of snow to till the earth right now! :yes4: But it is time for planning the garden layout, buying seeds, buying seed potatoes, and for folks that like to grow plants from seeds rather than buy "starts" (small plants started in greenhouses), it is time to start some of the seeds for plants that need a long growing season. For example, onions need a big head start in my area.
Also, it is time to start forming alliances, for the beginning gardeners especially. For example, a complete beginner may want to split a plot with someone more experienced. We each need to know which specific varieties of plants do well in our climate, and plan wisely so we have some food that last a long time after the final harvest of fresh veggies and herbs. We are able to can most veggies, and dry some veggies and fruits, but it is nice to have food like potatoes, squash, rutabaga, and carrots that can be eaten "fresh" many months after final harvest.
6th February 2011, 15:18
can put them plastic drink bottles to good use for early seedings , cut the bottom out and use them for outdoor planting for an early start as a mini hothouse can leave lid on or take off , protects frost sensative plants
13th February 2011, 12:30
Thinking about gardening this year, for the first time? Hey, start now, and your timing is perfect!
For me, at my latitude (with a short growing season), it is time to plant onion seeds in pots. Soon, time to start peppers and tomatoes from seeds.
You can do this! And you'll be so glad you did.
13th February 2011, 18:52
If your tomatoes do not ripen you can always eat green tomatoes... fried green tomatoes, pickled green tomaotes... there are quite a few recipies.
Soil building is essential. I strongly suggest that people look into the lasagna bed gardening techniques... and you really don't need a raised bed to do it. Mother Earth News has a great article on it and you can look on youtube ofr layered gardens and lasagna gardens.
14th February 2011, 07:35
From Mat Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening book - 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite = best growing medium.
Also found this tomato seed on ebay:
ebay description: Tomato 'Northern Nibbler Extremly' Cold Hardy 40 seeds - Northern Nibbler Tomato seeds Extremly Cold Hearty Can be plated outdoors up to 2 months early Tested 10/09 with a 85% germination rate Over 50 seeds per package This is the one that got me started. Great tasting tomatoes vary in size between 1 and 3 inches in diameter. Be the first one in your neighborhood to have fresh vine ripened tomatoes. Perfect for the Northern gardener. Can be planted outdoors up to 2 months early. I have actually had these plants survive early spring snow storms.
Protection against critters was the problem early last year. They got most of my hardy plants. Thanks to 'have a heart' traps, the rest of the year went well.
Pass Glass Steagall and build NAWAPA - seven million jobs will be created
14th February 2011, 08:09
Grow an Iriquois “Three Sisters” Container Garden
(This project is from “The Three Sisters: Exploring an Iroquois Garden” by Marcia Eames-Sheavly, a Cornell Cooperative Extension Publication)
14th February 2011, 08:14
Good advices. I grow food in my basement during winter (we eat a lot of spinach :) ). I hope one day we'll be able to disconnect from the corporate food market totally.
16th February 2011, 19:11
Hello fellow gardeners
Thank you for this thread Dennis. There is another important thing to learn when you grow your veggies:
You see how the life of a plant, first the small and unremarkable seed, when you put it in the soil. When the seeds sprouts and slowly turns into a small plant.
If you wanna have good tomatoes it depends on how you treat the plant-water, location, soil, organic fertilizer, conversation
And after some weeks you have a fully grown tomato plant which produces, lets say 20 tomatoes, each fruit with another 40 seeds= possibly 800 new plants!!!
PS.: Cut the plant with the green tomatoes 10 cm above the ground and put them to your window. They will turn red after a couple of days
Nature is simply awesome
I am still harversting greens (spinach, corn salad and rocket salad (Ruccola)
Powered by vBulletin™ Version 4.1.1 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.