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Gardening. Anyone here raise food?


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My father always had a small garden when I was kid.  It was for fresh eating only as we never canned.  After marriage I was too busy working and kids to have a garden.

Living in southern Indiana there was always nearby farm stands to purchase produce cheaply so I never felt compelled to start one.

 

While I still bought produce from the farm stands, I noticed tomatoes were changing.  They were becoming those bland tasteless orbs like those in the grocery store.  I found out, at least in my area, that many farmers were now selling at large farm markets or wholesaling.  Those old time tomatoes do not travel well so farmers started raising more of the commercial types that have less taste.

 

For many including myself, homegrown tomatoes are the #1 veggie for home gardens.  So several years ago, I started with a few plants.  I started checking around and and saw a few backyard gardeners were growing in tubs, window boxes and totes.  I started out by drilling holes in two 18 gallon rubbermaid totes.  Filled them with potting mix and put 2 tomato plants in each tote.

 

The tomatoes were great.

 

The next year I had 6 totes, 12 plants.  Plenty for me plus family and neighbors.  I then became involved in heirloom tomatoes and seed savers.  As I collected more seeds from others I was up to 30-40 tomato plants with each a different variety.  Of course filling 30+ containers with fresh mix was not cheap.  Luckily I live in an old, small subdivision with large yards outside of town.  So the next step I had someone come in and till me a 25 x 40 spot for a permanent garden.

 

I downsized my tomato growing and started other produce.  Besides tomatoes, I now grow several varieties of heirloom lettuce, eggplant, cucumbers, several varieties of peppers, green beans, snap peas, squash and various greens.  I always have plenty to share with neighbors.  

 

Since I am 71 I moved to my next step.  I am finishing 10 8x4 raised beds for this year.  I had this planned for the last 2 years of growing less and succession planting in the dirt.  It worked pretty well so I made the leap this year.  I start many plants indoors under lights which allows me many different options for selection.

 

That is my story.

 

I know the last couple of years a lot of folks started backyard gardens during the pandemic so I am wondering if there are any other gardeners out there in Bengal World?

 

 

 

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We grow chilies and tomatoes on the balcony.  Unfortunately, our balconies face due east and due west, so it's not deal for anything except shade.  1st world problem I suppose.  Last year we had some lemon drop chilies and cherry tomatoes as well as a bunch of herbs.  This year we're branching out into habanero chilies and artichokes.  we'll see...

 

 

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On 4/5/2022 at 8:54 AM, CincyInDC said:

We grow chilies and tomatoes on the balcony.  Unfortunately, our balconies face due east and due west, so it's not deal for anything except shade.  1st world problem I suppose.  Last year we had some lemon drop chilies and cherry tomatoes as well as a bunch of herbs.  This year we're branching out into habanero chilies and artichokes.  we'll see...

 

 

 

I've tried habaneros a couple of times & I think the growing season is a little short for them around here.  They'd start to fruit early fall & really take off right around the time we're expecting that first frost. Not sure how DC compares but I'd suggest planning on bringing them indoors & see if you can keep them going while matching the decreasing amount of sunlight outside.

 

FWIW I haven't had this problem with jalapenos, poblanos, or bells though they also take off when the weather starts to cool.  They just aren't as slow-growing as habs from what I've seen.

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9 hours ago, T-Dub said:

 

 

 

I live in Munich now, and summers are even shorter than in DC, so any kind of chili is going to be tough. 

 

I can buy jalapenos from the grocery store.  They come with a little cardboard tray and are wrapped in plastic and cost about $1.50 for 2 chilies.  😤

 

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12 hours ago, CincyInDC said:

 

I live in Munich now, and summers are even shorter than in DC, so any kind of chili is going to be tough. 

 

I can buy jalapenos from the grocery store.  They come with a little cardboard tray and are wrapped in plastic and cost about $1.50 for 2 chilies.  😤

 

 

Are they also only slightly hotter than poblanos like what you can get at Kroger?

 

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I wish I could get poblanos, lol. These overpriced jalapenos are not super spicy, but do taste good. They're grown in Dutch hothouses.

 

I can at least get Thai chilies, which are no joke spice-wise. Habaneros are common here, too. 

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On 5/20/2022 at 10:29 AM, CincyInDC said:

These overpriced jalapenos are not super spicy, but do taste good.

 

 

I smoked my own chipotles with mine, highly recommend.

 

 

Fair warning with gardening though, it will kind of ruin the grocery produce section for you.  You'll be looking at the offseason tomatoes like "damn I guess I'll eat these things"

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