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Old 01-30-2012, 10:29 PM   #1
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Planning for Spring!

I renewed my garden plot for this coming year a couple weeks ago, and I received seeds in the mail today. Needless to say, I'm filled with thoughts of giving gardening another try!

Over the winter, I've been looking into Square Foot Gardening. I used some of the principles last year, which worked well for me. I think I just want to move forward and build boxes. Has anyone tried this method as described by the book? It's not a horrid investment to get it moving, but it's not dirt cheap either.

Tomatoes will be my focus this year. Last year, they just did not do so well.

I would like to grow some okra. How many plants should I consider to get enough for a side dish for two from time to time?

Is anyone else already musing what they will grow?
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:02 AM   #2
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My experience with Okra is that it doesn't germinate well. I seem to recall a requirement for soaking the Okra seed--I'll have to look that up again. I ended up with 6 plants. This year, I'm going to plant 24 seeds and see what I get. The plants don't transplant well, at least that was my experience in 2010. I am pushing the envelope planting Okra because of the growing zone I'm in. Look for early varieties. Not sure why your tomatoes didn't do well. Was it too much rain/not enough?
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:35 AM   #3
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I have the garden fever too! I have been grilling one of my therapy patients who is known to be a whiz in the garden. I only have a small plot to put things in but like you, really want tomatoes! My 7 year old wants a sunflower so I will have to stick it in there too.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:40 AM   #4
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I read Bartholomew's book years ago but never really tried it. We did experiment with natural barriers along the side of the house. A combination of vegetables and flowers. That worked well because the house provided some protection and some additional heat. We also used a large piece of wall to wall carpet one year. We cut holes in the carpet for the plants and then topped the rug with mulch. It kept the weeds down and let the water through. The method we used most often was to plant three times more than we wanted so the weeds and the woodchucks could run wild and still leave some stuff for us. some years the pigweeds were as big as Christmas trees.

Do you follow the old "rules"?

Like planting sweet peas on Good Friday.

I find them to be very interesting.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:38 AM   #5
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CWS, we had a garden when we lived in the Adirondacks. Our seeds came from Canada and were meant for a shorter growing season. The name of the company was Vesey's. We had a beautiful garden and got some great veggies out of it.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathleen View Post
I would like to grow some okra. How many plants should I consider to get enough for a side dish for two from time to time?
Is Georgia close enough to be "mid-Atlantic"? Here's UG's sheets on okra.
Commercial Okra Production | CAES Publications | UGA
Growing Okra in the Home Garden | CAES Publications | UGA

(I make good use of the commercial advisories, as well as home growing advice. They sometimes have better information.)

As to how much to plant, I can only tell you about what I find in Texas. Here, if all I wanted was an occasional side dish, all I would need would be a couple of plants. Obviously, I would need more if I wanted to freeze enough to last beyond the season. I got enough just for some meals in season this last year from two plants that came up by themselves from the year before. Here, I would figure ten plants to eat during season and freeze for the rest of the year. That depends on the variety and what size I harvest them.

Okra loves heat and tolerates drought well. Don't worry about fertilization if your soil is anywhere close to reasonable. If you overfeed okra, it all goes to plant and no fruit. But, if needed, do work on your soil so that it drains well. Mix in sand, etc. to achieve this. I grow equally well in on side of the property that has tons of rocks and drains immediately and on the other side, which is black dirt.

Another reason for having a number of plants is that you would like to harvest when the okra is at the "fancy" stage, two to three inches, depending on variety. It's more tender. Harvest daily. In hot weather, one pod can grow from fancy size to tough and stringy in a couple of days. Look closely. I do, and even then I often miss one or two pods that I didn't see.

I guess you can do as they advise and soak the seed. I never have, and I kind of have to stick them in the ground and jump back as the plant comes up. Okra is very robust and vigorous. The only pest I have ever had on them was ants that would attack the young pods. If they take a nick out of it, that pod will grow into a curve. Still good to eat, though. And no, they don't transplant well, but they grow so fast that it doesn't matter.

Oh. And wear gloves. The term "spineless" is merely relative.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlot View Post
I have the garden fever too! I have been grilling one of my therapy patients who is known to be a whiz in the garden. I only have a small plot to put things in but like you, really want tomatoes! My 7 year old wants a sunflower so I will have to stick it in there too.
Not quite fever in my case

I'm thinking about those rain gutters for planting in from that post with the 20 great ideas. I could attach some to the fence.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:19 PM   #8
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Not quite fever in my case

I'm thinking about those rain gutters for planting in from that post with the 20 great ideas. I could attach some to the fence.
I've been thinking about those as well...good idea to attach to the fence. It was pointed out that mold/algae would grow on the siding if attached to the house.
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:11 PM   #9
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hrmm, must find this post you all are referring to ^
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:37 PM   #10
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hrmm, must find this post you all are referring to ^
It wasn't 20 clever ideas; it was 25 Clever Ideas
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