View Full Version : 2014 Gardening Grow Log

6th June 2014, 16:32
The purpose of this thread is for everyone to post pictures, tips, suggestions of their plants and flowers that they may be growing this year. I would also like to harvest seeds to be able to trade or give away to other potential and experienced gardeners as a way of spreading good genetics and overthrowing the GMO empire. I'm sure this thread will be edited various times as more thoughts come to mind, but for now, this is just something to gauge the interest of the members here at Avalon.

So far, this is a list which I have compiled of all the vegetables I am currently growing in my little 72 cell trays (all of my seeds are guaranteed non-GMO and heirloom variety):

- Clemson Spineless Okra
- Spicy Salad Mix Lettuce
- Iceberg Lettuce
- Red Acre Cabbage
- Spacemaster Cucumber
- Beefsteak Tomato
- Royal Chatenay Carrots
- White Lisbon Onion
- Tabasco Pepper
- Red Pepper
- Cherry Belle Radish
- Long Island Improved Brusselsprouts
- Indian Tobacco from My Patriot Supply (didn't realize they were located in my city)
- Habenero Pepper
- Trinidad Ghost Scorpion Pepper
- Jalapeno Pepper
- Chili Pepper
- Red Russian Kale
- Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach

Things I have yet to plant:

- Blue Lake Green Beans
- Sweet Spanish Onions
- Broad Fava Windsor Beans
- Royal Burgandy Beans
- Idaho Potatos (got to still build my potato box from the pallets I have been collecting from work)

I don't know if I'm going to have enough space for all of this in my backyard garden, that's why I intend on planting vegetables which are fast growers and harvesters first so that I can make room for some of the lengthy vegetables.

I started planting everything in my trays on 06/03/2014 and I'm already seeing some of the lettuces and smaller plants beginning to sprout up. I have been saving all of my styrofoam Ramen noodles cups because I would like to transplant all of my smaller plants to them in the hopes of freeing up much needed space in my garden for the bigger and space hogging vegetables. My planting soil mix consists of organic topsoil and horse manure that has been dried out in the sun for 2 weeks. I then took the horse manure and placed it into a food processor to grind it up and mix with the topsoil - about a 60% manure to 40% topsoil mix. The garden itself will consist of 30% manure and 70% topsoil. The dimensions of my backyard garden space is 10.5 ft. by 16 ft.


6th June 2014, 16:57
Thanks for the thread! I am a NOVICE gardener who is attempting to get started growing. Luckily my boyfriend knows more than I do. May I ask your advice on something?

Where should I attempt to acquire some quality seeds?

6th June 2014, 17:14
Zaya, I know that from experience, you can find a lot of good organic/non-GMO/heirloom seeds from eBay - but, in all honesty, I would recommend the seeds I have got from my local nursery by Lake Valley Seed. They are the company which I used last year and got great results - just over planted the garden and didn't get as much as I wanted.

On a side note, I am a novice at this as well, but I'm ready to start relying on myself and have a perpetual garden year round if I can.

It's funny, as a child, I used to hate gardening with my parents - but I've learned that all the things I hated as a child, I'm learning to love now. :)

6th June 2014, 17:24
Welcome to the wonderful world of gardening!!!!! I was looking at your list and trying to figure out what kind of room you will need. How many of each plant do you expect to grow? Some of your selection could be grown in container potting if you need extra space. I thought you probably lived in the south, with the selection of okra and peppers, but I see you are in Indiana. It will be interesting to see if you can get productive growth from them. I tried to grow okra here in Western washington state and did not have good results. The plants also take up a fair amount of room. Gardening is a lot of trial and error. Each year you modify what didn't work so well in the past year. Eventually you will learn to get maximum use out of your garden space.

Growing my own food is one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. It gives me a respectful connection to mother earth and sincere gratitude for the food that I eat. Also, you will begin to notice that when you are eating a lot of your fresh, vital veggies you will feel more energy and more alive. Good luck!!! I hope you use this thread as a sort of online gardening journal.

6th June 2014, 17:29
Hello Zaya and all others interested,

Barbara H. Petersen runs a website called Farms Wars which represents the interests of small farmers. She has a list on her site called Safe Seeds:


I see it was last updated in April 2012, but if you write to her she may have more up to date information.

Farm Wars Safe Seed Company List Updated Ap. 08, 2012
Barbara H. Peterson

The following is a list of seed companies that provide organic and heirloom seed varieties. These companies have no ties to biotech interests, and do not get their seeds from Monsanto. This list is a work in progress. If you find that any information on this list is outdated or just plain wrong, please let me know so that I can update it.

DOWNLOAD PDF HERE: FARMWARS SAFE SEED COMPANY LIST Ap082012 (http://farmwars.info/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/FARMWARS-SAFE-SEED-COMPANY-LIST-Ap0820121.pdf)
The following companies have determined to NOT have any association with biotech interests, and DO NOT sell seeds sourced from companies owned by Monsanto.
Please help us keep this list up-to-date. Last update: April 08, 2012

Horizon Herbs

Seed Site
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Amishland Heirloom Seeds
Hudson Valley Seed Library
D. Landreth Seed Company
Seeds Trust
High Mowing Organic Seeds
Uprising Seeds
Wood Prairie Farm
Organica Seed
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Fedco Seeds
Family Farmers Seed Cooperative
White Harvest Seed Company
Heirloom Organics
Seed for Security
The Living Seed Company
Sow True Seed
Adaptive Seeds
Seeds Now
Livingston Seed
Sustainable Seed Co.
Grow Organic
Victory Seeds
Botanical Interests
The Ark Institute
My Patriot Supply
Underwood Gardens
Heirloom Seeds
Wild Garden Seed

6th June 2014, 17:35
Growing my own food is one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. It gives me a respectful connection to mother earth and sincere gratitude for the food that I eat.

Love this sentiment, Peterpam :love::luv:

¤=[Post Update]=¤

On a side note, I am a novice at this as well, but I'm ready to start relying on myself and have a perpetual garden year round if I can.

It's funny, as a child, I used to hate gardening with my parents - but I've learned that all the things I hated as a child, I'm learning to love now. :)

Ha! So true about becoming an adult. I love allll the foods I hated then, for instance ha. In regards to relying on oneself and having a garden year round, YES. That is a lot of the reason I want to go on this venture. I really want to be able to provide for myself and also to bond with mother nature as dear peterpam said.

6th June 2014, 17:56
My neighbour and I have started late this year- I have the plot and he has the energy so we agreed to combine efforts and get digging /planting- loads of stuff going in but nothing comes from seeds so far, but I have treated myself to a cabbage cage this year as I don't like meat or poop of cabbage butterfly with my veg.
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=95a906fca3&view=fimg&th=1466376032b87c60&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ-zTjSKKp9h-m8ELHNaxNVE1SWVoO3JRfnyTTAJ9OINg9CdGt-MBHEtfyubJHnlFCtfPLfGs9JILOjq697VGIW7lE1GnEd39i000 OM_MWL2xWYfAdIE5pZJ_II&ats=1402077295625&rm=1466376032b87c60&zw&sz=w1168-h538

6th June 2014, 18:07
so far I'v planted:

10 pounds of golden potatoes, 10 pounds of red potatoes, garlic, mustard greens, onions, white bush squash, butter nut squash, zucini, pole beans, 30 some tomatoes about 10 varieties, cucumbers, basil, lemon basil, red bell peppers, thai peppers, collard greens, kohrahbi, cabbage, beets, turnips, carrots, brussel sprouts, sugar snap peas and eggplant...

ill try and get some pics

Ron Mauer Sr
7th June 2014, 13:11
My 2014 garden. More to come, a 4' x 12' raised bed.



The 5 gallon bucket containers are made similar to this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1jr0_HZ19c).

7th June 2014, 18:14
Wow Ron! That is really beautiful and at the same time, ingenious. I love the way you have built those trellis' over what I am assuming are to be tomatoes. Great work and thanks for the ideas.

Ron Mauer Sr
7th June 2014, 18:40
Here is an instructional video of how to construct a similar trellis/greenhouse.


7th June 2014, 19:31
Just a note to all the gardeners and something to work towards as you practice.It takes approximately 1000 square feet of traditional garden space per person to sustain vegetables for a year.Most of us don't have that kind of space or energy at the end of the day so there are lots of space saving techniques and easy low cost watering applications these days.With the help of the web its never been easier to get started,good stuff here.Thanks all we can turn it green again.

Ron Mauer Sr
8th June 2014, 02:03
NYC's backyard farms. Growing more than just produce.

"Two hundred and fifty square feet will feed maybe four to six people seasonally, for six months, so this site [600 square feet] can feed six to ten people for six months of the growing season", says Stacy Murphy of BK Farmyards (http://bkfarmyards.com/).


Growing vegetables vertically on a trellis, as much as possible, is probably the best way to reduce the square foot garden space needed to grow any specific amount of produce.

8th June 2014, 13:27
Yeah Ron that's it ,thank you .Don't know how to post the links yet but that's what I'm talk'n about.

8th June 2014, 13:43
I've been working hard in the garden making some beds that I plan to enclose with boards. I planted carrots two days ago and have a lot of other things in. Today, going to get some onion sets, garlic, and kale.

Anyone done bush cucumbers? How high of a cage do I need around them? Put'em in a few days ago and now have to get them caged.

8th June 2014, 15:13
My experience with bush cucumbers has required something the size of a tomato cage.Soil conditions ,light ,water and you factor in to that equation as well.Plants feel vibration,standing bare foot watering by hand have wonderful results even with poor soil and very little water.In the right conditions the cucumbers can overwhelm a typical cage,if it does just add on.my 2 cents.

10th June 2014, 15:31
Got the bulk of our neglected veg plot dug over today set out the corn on the cob structure- I joked to my friend - I just realised that looks like a harp station-LOL:eek:

We had a home brew and a cider to celebrate- cheers :rolleyes:

10th June 2014, 20:50
I've been working hard in the garden making some beds that I plan to enclose with boards. I planted carrots two days ago and have a lot of other things in. Today, going to get some onion sets, garlic, and kale.

Anyone done bush cucumbers? How high of a cage do I need around them? Put'em in a few days ago and now have to get them caged.

I have grown many cucumbers both the ‘bush ‘type and the ‘vine’ type.

Bush cucumbers (as well as bush beans) require no type of support, cage or trellis. That is the beauty of bush beans and cucumbers . . . they are compact, neat and tidy.

I do however always place 6 to 8 inches of hay or straw around the plants (mulch) to hold in moisture and to keep the soil off the fruit and lower leaves.

The straw and hay I use is always left out in the weather for several months (in the bale) so any seeds in the hay will rot or germinate, so my garden doesn't end up with a beautiful crop of grass or oats!

11th June 2014, 00:29

Earth Angel
11th June 2014, 01:19
so exciting! having lived in our house for 17 years we have planted a garden for the first time in our lives....no idea what we are doing but we have planted about 23 different things from non GMO seeds....I am amazed at the number of people like myself who have never had a vegetable garden but are doing it this year.....a planetary shift!
We planted a week ago and today we have several rows of things growing.....this is so exciting!

11th June 2014, 01:46
Victory gardens; victory over TPTB/TPTW!

Ron Mauer Sr
11th June 2014, 02:24
Victory gardens; victory over TPTB/TPTW!

Those who have food in their tummy will be much harder to manipulate.

11th June 2014, 14:02
For those who are avid gardeners... is it too late to start my summer garden?

Ron Mauer Sr
11th June 2014, 15:18
For those who are avid gardeners... is it too late to start my summer garden?

Hot weather veggies must be planted soon. Look on the seed package or label to find how many days are needed to reach maturity. Then count the number of days remaining before the average early frost date (http://www.almanac.com/content/frost-chart-united-states/VA/Forest) for your zip code.

Some veggies do fine in colder weather. For example, planting dates in Virginia are here (http://ronmauer.net/blog/?page_id=1711). Notice that kale, onions, garlic and spinach can be planted very late and do fine in cold weather.

13th June 2014, 14:12
Here is a list of heirloom seed sources in Canada: :canada:


My favourites include Salt Spring Seeds, Annapolis Seeds, Heritage Harvest Seed, and The Cottage Gardener.

Ron Mauer Sr
18th June 2014, 17:29
I've upgraded my 4' x 16' raised bed by increasing the depth to 12". Corn will be planted tomorrow in 16 squares (one 4x4 section), followed next month by vegetables suitable for the season. The 90 day corn should be ready to pick September 17th, 30 days before the local average first frost date of Oct 17.

Here is what I did to build a permanent, non-toxic raised bed:

Sixteen cast concrete sections were used to build this 4'x12' by 1' deep raised bed. A grid was added to experiment with Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening (http://www.amazon.com/Mel-Bartholomew/e/B000AP5DSE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1403109738&sr=1-1) method. The fence wire used on each side of the raised bed is hinged horizontally, 3 feet above the concrete, to provide access and to keep chickens and other animals out of the bed. The PVC/fence wire structure could also be used as framework for a greenhouse.

(Click on images to enlarge.)

http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140617_183643-300x225.jpg (http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140617_183643.jpg)

Constructing the form

A wooden form was made from 2x4 and a 2x6 lumber. Same volume as one $5.00 80 lb bag of Sakrete (http://www.lowes.com/pd_132022-76671-354803999_0__?productId=3099141&Ntt=sakrete+80&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dsakrete%2B80&facetInfo=).

Screws are used to assemble/disassemble the form, allowing removal of the finished product.

One 4 foot piece of 3/8” rebar is placed in the concrete when the form is half full of concrete.

The form is setup for using short sections of ˝” diameter PEK pipe at each end and in the middle. PEK is removed from the concrete after the concrete is removed from the form, leaving 2 holes in the concrete where short pieces of rebar can be inserted vertically to lock the concrete sections together. The hole in the center of the concrete can be used to fasten and stabilize a trellis.

A short piece of vinyl flashing is put into the form before pouring to prevent casting a ridge in the finished product where the 2x4 and 2x6 are joined.

The form can be removed after 24 hours, but 48 hours would be better. The concrete sections can be used to construct the raised bed immediately after removing the form if it is handled gently and not dropped or stressed. Concrete takes many days to reach almost full strength.

http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Concrete-Form-RB-300x140.png (http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Concrete-Form-RB.png)

19th June 2014, 01:44
awesome ron, mel has great ideas with square foot gardening, been doing it for a few years now....Rock on Wayne, Rock on Ron!!!

Ron Mauer Sr
1st July 2014, 01:51
Look at what was found hiding under some very big leaves today.


And I thought I had a brown thumb. :thumb:

More on the way.

These cucumbers are the 1st harvest from 2 plants growing in one Earth Box (http://earthbox.com/).

1st July 2014, 02:04
And so early in the season even! I'm very impressed and DO post updates here on whatever else you find under leaves as the season continues! :)

Ron Mauer Sr
5th July 2014, 21:11
05 July 2014

I’m having some success compared to my previous gardens. But if I compare my organic garden with two other gardens in the neighborhood where commercial fertilizers are used, they have much better results.

The growing medium is peat moss, compost and vermiculite in approximately equal amounts, as is recommended in Square Foot Gardening. Perhaps the compost I used was poor quality. Wish I knew.

http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Corn1-300x176.png (http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Corn1.png)

Ghost peppers, the worlds 2nd or 3rd hottest, depending on who answers the question.

http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Ghost-Peppers-300x178.png (http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Ghost-Peppers.png)

Round garden has Kennebec potatoes, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. Both potatoes types are tied for the prize for best performance. Very little weeding needed in the containers, but weeds and grass take over around the containers. Next season I should lay down some type of grass/weed barrier underneath the containers.

http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Round-Garden-300x187.png (http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Round-Garden.png)

5th July 2014, 21:52
Hi Ron. What kind of fertilizers ARE you using?

Ron Mauer Sr
5th July 2014, 22:10
Hi Ron. What kind of fertilizers ARE you using?

I've been doing some watering with "steeped" compost tea. A few scoops of organic compost (a variety of brands) is put into a 5 gallon bucket of water for 24 hours, aerated with an aquarium air stone. Similar to this video, but I've added aeration:


I do not think low qualty compost is the issue because I'm using compost from a variety of sources.

Watering is not the issue. The containers get watered often. Overwatering is not possible because the containers have overflow holes.

All plants get full sun.

The neighborhood gardens used for comparison are conventional row gardens using commercial fertilizers. I'm no master gardener, but my understanding is that commercial petroleum based fertilizers nurture plants directly and harm the soil. Compost nurtures the soil, which in turn feeds the plants.

5th July 2014, 22:51
I am headed out to do evening milking and chores but I wanted to take the time to ask you what specifically is in the compost you are using to make the ‘tea’.

Does it contain manure of any type and if so about what percentage?

I am trying to establish your nitrogen content. Looking at the plants in the containers in the fenced garden area I can tell by the color of the foliage that that definitely need more nitrogen

Ron Mauer Sr
6th July 2014, 00:13
I am headed out to do evening milking and chores but I wanted to take the time to ask you what specifically is in the compost you are using to make the ‘tea’.

Does it contain manure of any type and if so about what percentage?

I am trying to establish your nitrogen content. Looking at the plants in the containers in the fenced garden area I can tell by the color of the foliage that that definitely need more nitrogen

Hi blufire,

The nitrogen content is unknown. It is not specified on the bag of commercial compost that I still have.

Some plants have a yellow tint, some more than others. Watermelon and muskmelon are the worst performers.

Planting a cover crop of legumes in the fall may help add nitrogen. Do you have any recommendations about adding nitrogen now, at this stage of the growing season here in Virginia?

Thanks, Ron

Ron Mauer Sr
18th July 2014, 04:20
18 July 2014

Learning how to garden is a very slow process!!

Kennebec potatoes still growing. I thought these should be expiring by now. Sweet potatoes seem to be doing good. The weeds are doing great. Next year I need to re-arrange plants so the weed wacker can be used more effectively.
http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181310-300x224.jpg (http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181310.jpg)

I did harvest some cucumbers before the leaves turned yellow.
http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181335-300x224.jpg (http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181335.jpg)

Many small green peppers in here but they are well camouflaged.
http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181406-300x224.jpg (http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181406.jpg)

Only four bell peppers in one entire Earth Box. One or more nutrients must be missing from my soil.
http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181415-300x224.jpg (http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181415.jpg)

There is still hope for half of my Triple L climbing tomatoes. They should turn red soon.
http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181451-300x224.jpg (http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181451.jpg)

No complaints about my cherry tomatoes. I have been snacking on these.
http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181506-300x224.jpg (http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181506.jpg)

Got a few watermelon. Maybe this variety is supposed to be that small?

Cantaloupe are alive but not growing much.
http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181551-300x224.jpg (http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181551.jpg)

Ghost peppers (#3 of world’s hottest) seem to be doing OK. They are normally very slow to grow and these were planted late.
http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181601-300x224.jpg (http://ronmauer.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/20140717_181601.jpg)

I’ve pulled the yellow squash plants. Picked 3 fruit before the bugs got the plant. I put the plant into a bucket of water for a few days to kill them. Looks like some bugs left behind have invaded my watermelons.

9th August 2014, 21:46
Great thread! I like seeing what other people are growing and the different methods they use. :biggrin:

15th August 2014, 18:58
When we're installed, I'm going to have to work on the small patch of backyard we have, primarily to make it look decent again. Apparently the previous owners did not do anything with it and it has gone to waste. Now it's full of long weeds.

I have no garden experience. These are my starting questions:

- What machinery and basic tools will I need for gardening? Basic.

- I love plants but I don't really understand them very well, I think. When their leaves start going yellow, it's seems the end is near and there seems to be nothing I can do to save them. I did not grow them myself, got them from the florist. What I use is simple tap water. Where did things go wrong?

- I want the new garden to be clean for take off, so how do I take care of the weeds? They've grown quite a bit. I hope I can post a picture once I get the chance. I read about newspaper covering for 18 months but does it take that long to "heal" it?

- Since I don't know what's been happening in the past to this small patch of earth, I'm not sure if I can confidently grow food in it. I think I'll take small containers.

- Hopefully compatible with my climate, these are things I have in mind: small apple tree, olive tree, tomatoes, potatoes.

- I'd like to cover one wall with ivy but people say I shouldn't because it's a lot of work to maintain. Is it? Can I control it from going to other walls or to the neighbours? I really like the look of a wall covered with leaves.

- And I wanted to put a bigger tree in the back corner but one of my neighbours has a tree hanging a bit over my garden, so basically, I already have a big tree. I know autumn is going to be very fun, but hey: I get a tree in return. Should my neigbours appear not so nature-engaged, I'm going to have to take care of this tree as it grows. At least as much as possible from my position. Is that even possible? Again, will hopefully post some images soon.

- I also have to think of securing the walls - with thorny bushes? - because some of the neighbours have been jumping in when the house was empty...

- My biggest challenge is going to be working with limited space and making the most of out. After all, we'd like a place for lounging in summer, for the kids to play and for some nature to have a home.

15th September 2014, 15:45

Many organic gardeners have also love for essential oils (http://www.essentialoils.co.za/essential-oils/).
Here is how you can use essential oils in your garden to:

◾repel insect pest

◾suppress fungus – the cause of around 85% of plant diseases

◾dissuade pets from ruining your garden – for example, did you know cats hate the smell of rosemary?

◾attract pollinators

◾make your own mosquito repellents

◾and much more!


15th September 2014, 16:02
i know this may be late in arriving but when i have bug probs i use Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap in a mixed solution of water and peppermint soap, seems to work ok not as good as the real thing but it is organic