What vegetables do you grow and what style garden do you have?

lavender_lass(4b)August 13, 2010

Hi, pretty new to this forum. I'm trying to design a new vegetable garden for next year. I've had mixed success with vegetables, so I'm wondering what are your favorites? Are root vegetables my only option??? LOL

Also, what kind of vegetable garden do you have? Are they planted in rows, blocks, smaller raised beds? I've noticed the tomatoes do much better when planted against something metal. No surprise, since it often gets down to 40-45 F. I'm surprised I even have tomatoes this year, to be honest.

I have a frost free season from about June 1- August 31, but sometimes get a frost in the last week of August. We have a creek behind the house (we live on a farm) so I think that's one reason we have such cold summer evenings. The humidity during the day is about 25%, but at night, it goes up to about 75% (we got a cool new thermometer from Lowe's...and just found this out). Thank you for any suggestions!

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Hi lavender lass:

We live in Zone 3 and we have a large garden 75'x 75'. We have in our garden right now-- Potatoes, Tomatoes, Peppers, Peas, Onions, Carrots, Lettuce, Radish, Beans--yellow and royal burgandy, Corn, Cucumbers, Swiss Chard, Kohlrabbi, Raspberries and Strawberries. Over the years we have tried other things, but these are the staples of our garden. Now that there is just my husband and I at home we hve cut back a little on what we grow.

I have a greenhouse so some things--like Tomatoes-- are started in there. The secret to growing in colder climates is to choose varieties that have short maturity dates. For instance the corn seed we buy matures in 60 days. Some corn can take as much as 80 days.

Peas, lettuce, radish and kohlrabbi can go in as soon as the ground warms a bit. They are cool season plants and a light frost won't hurt them. Most of the rest of the seed goes in a couple of weeks before the last frost, providing the ground is warm enough. As long as they are under the ground they won't freeze. Tomatoes, and peppers go in as plants--fairly large but not flowering--go in when all danger of frost is gone. Cucumbers go in then too.

There are a few tricks you can use too. Garden blankets are good to have on hand for those unexpected frosts. Then there is hot hats for tomatoes.

Another choice is to have hoop houses over raised beds.

Don't let your climate hold you back. There are gardeners living in the arctic. You just have to learn and you are in the right place for that.

Happy gardening

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 12:11AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Looks like you have about the same climate.
My garden is in a low spot, so frost could be a week or more sooner.
I still grow Tomatoes, some years I have loads of red ones but this
year it will be less because we have more rain then usual. Also Carrots, some peas and/or snow peas, 2 type of Kale, Russian Spinach, Potatoes, 2 type of bush bean.
Windsor broad beans, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Dill, Asparagus,
Some kind of Chinese Mustard Vegetable for stir fry.
Planted in rows.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 12:26AM
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Lavender Lass

You asked if people plant in rows, raised beds, etc.

If I were going to plant in a large area, I would look into square foot gardening and modify it a bit. Keep in mind my suggestions will be based on limited experience, but success short term.

Instead of planting in rows, I would try "rows" that are approximately 3 feet wide, depending on how far you can easily reach to the middle. Less wasted space, and the plants closer together shade the ground and conserve water, and I would imagine the area would stay a little warmer (?) You could mulch small pathways between your 3 foot wide rows.

One thing I really like to do is plant carrots and peas together in alternate small rows. Obviously one grows up and one grows down, so by the time your carrots need extra room, your peas are finished and you pull them out, giving the carrots more room.

Good luck with your new garden!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 12:24PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

At my old house, I had a 50'x50' tilled vegetable plot. I used to grow almost anything that had a short enough season.

Now I have only one 4'x8' raised bed, which I posted about in the other thread. I grow tomatoes, green beans and peas at the moment. I'm planning to build a second bed when my dying elm tree comes out this fall.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 1:30PM
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DrHorticulture_(Z3 Central Saskatchewan)

Hi, welcome to the forum.

My garden is a mishmash of different planting styles. I have raised beds, rows, containers square footish type plots and everything in between. I also have an unheated greenhouse for difficult crops like eggplant, as well as to prolong the season for frost-tolerant crops in spring and fall. My typical growing season is mid May to mid September, but cool season crops can be started outside in early April and grow until mid or late October. Raised beds are beneficial for early spring crops. I strongly recommend you get a greenhouse or hoophouse, preferably double walled for those cold summer nights. Floating row covers inside the greenhouse will also help a lot. I also recommend a few shop lights (fluorescents) to start plants indoors in winter for a spring crop, in spring for a summer crop, and in summer for a fall crop.

As suggested above, take advantage of frost-tolerant cool season crops and plant as early as possible, which could be April in your area. Keep in mind that cool season crops started indoors need to be hardened off to cold nights. Transplant your warm season crops outdoors in June, and transplant a quick fall crop outdoors in early September. Radishes, bok choy and arugula are fast growing choices for a fall crop. It's a lot of work but enables you to garden, to some extent, 7-9 months of the year instead of 3.

I looked at the weather data for Bend, OR which I think (?) is fairly close to your climate. With a greenhouse, hoophouse or cold frame, you can grow vegetables from March through November.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 3:32PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

Dr., do you start your radishes indoors? I'd like to try some more for fall but it never occurred to me to start them inside.

Our vegetable garden is pretty traditional - a large square-ish plot with almost everything planted in rows. I do double rows of things like carrots, beets, onions and chard. We have one small section of the garden covered in a woven black cloth type thing (swamp cloth, it's called) and tomatoes, cucumbers and beans are planted in there. I don't have a greenhouse, so i don't bother with things like melons or peppers because they have limited success here.

We keep our rows fairly far apart and dh tills through them every so often, and i weed the rows themselves. He's in charge of potatoes and has made himself another bed for them, similar to our main bed - a plot with the potatoes planted in rows.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 4:12PM
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DrHorticulture_(Z3 Central Saskatchewan)

Hi Marcia,

No, not the radishes. I usually sow them outside in the 2nd week of April (give or take a week depending on weather) and harvest in time for May long weekend. In fall, I sow in 2nd week of September for harvest in 3rd or 4th week of October. Fall ones benefit from some protection, even a transparent rubbermaid bin works great. I like 'German Giant' because it produces 1" radishes in 3-4 weeks, whereas the traditional varieties take much longer in our crappy, unpredictable spring/fall weather.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 6:53PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I sowed my radishes at the end of April this year and got none. They didn't bulb out at all. Not sure why, but we had some very cool weather after that and i never protected them.

So, second week of September. I'll try to remember that. I'm sure i have a clear container i can empty and use for protection. Thank!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 7:04PM
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I pretty much grow the usual veggies, most being planted in rows. My garden has a good degree of slope to it, so I never need to worry about drainage. It's also pretty much my main flower growing area and is crammed full of my favorite annuals. Over the next few years, I intend to be adding more perennials, evergreens shrubs and some of the better roses I've developed ... I love annuals, but I really do have too many of them :)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 12:58AM
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I have 3 tomatoes in large pots and the rest is mostly lilies and poppies plus a mish mash of other flowers.Quite a mess really but suits me.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 2:23PM
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weeper_11(2b SK)

I'm still in the process of digging my veggie garden, but next year I should be done part of it so that I can get started growing something. My garden is a very large raised bed, which I am dividing with paths into small, 3 1/2 ft wide beds that I won't need to stand on ever. With our heavy clay soil, anything to cut down on compaction will be good for the plants. In the center of my garden I plan to have a small circular bed with some roses growing in it. I plan to plant in blocks and rows; I like vegetable gardens to be ornamental as well as practical. This style of gardening is called a potager, and is supposed to be popular in europe.

As for what I intend to grow: potatoes, different varieties lettuce, spinach, corn, zucchini, yellow summer squash, carrots, peas, beans, beets, broccoli and cauliflower from seed. I will use transplants for: tomatoes, cucumbers, winter squash, peppers, eggplant and pumpkin. I would also like to try cantaloupe and watermelon transplants, though I know they'll be iffy depending on the year. Lots of freezing, lots of canning, lots of fresh eating! Before I plant all of those, we do intend to insulate and went a corner in our basement for a root cellar as well. I'll have to wait and see what plants end up being too finicky (maybe cauliflower!) and get knocked off the list.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 8:59AM
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We garden on a city lot so space is precious and results in a mixture of garden styles.
Largest garden is probably about 20' wide & 40' long with spaghetti squash, cucumbers, garlic, tomatoes (except this year), beets, peas, onions and some random beans.
This year tried growing potatoes in containers & that was quite successful so there will be more of those next year.
Also have a salad box close to the house for fresh greens and herbs in an adjacent raised bed.
We have started building two raised beds for the front yard to take advantage of sunny spots and reduce the amount of lawn that needs to be cut.
There are flowers & shrubs mixed in as well, so its a bit of a mishmash but seems to all work together.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 10:59AM
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echoes_or(Zone 3)

I have raised beds and love to grow veggies. I wish my corn looked like twrosz'... That is my dream... I also purchase short season corn and plant my maters when they are anywhere from 8inches to a foot or more in size. Just depends upon my soil temps.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 1:17PM
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echoes_or(Zone 3)

See my puny corn???

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 1:24PM
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echoes_or(Zone 3)

I tired of trying to get my pictures to show here... Sorry for the trouble.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 1:39PM
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