T Nation

Who Grows a Fruit/Veg Garden?

Wondering how many of us are growing our own (non-animal) food. On one hand self-reliance for basic foodstuffs is always a good skill. On the other hand, claiming more control over your own nutrition and health is also good. So, yeah.

I’ve played around the last few years with stuff here and there. This year so far, I’ve gotten tomatoes, cucumbers, and habanero peppers (and basil, because why not). Brussels sprouts are coming up pretty good and should be on their way, going to put some beets and radishes down in the next few days.

Next year, I’m planning to study a bit more, actually learn and pay attention to planting/harvesting times instead of winging it, and am thinking about throwing down the “three sisters” - corn, string beans, and squash.

Anyone else?

This is a really cool question. I haven’t followed through on it yet, but I’ve purchased some of the components needed to grow hydroponic veggies in my backyard. The hydroponic method that caught my interest is called something like deep water culture, or something to that effect. Basically the plants’ roots are suspended in nutrient-rich water, and an aquarium bubbler provides the oxygen needed. From what I’ve read, when done correctly, this can net some really crazy yields. My plan is to have the pump for the bubbler powered by a little solar panel so that my little laboratory experiment is totally off the grid.

I live in Central California, which is a gigantic agriculture center. I don’t work in the agriculture industry, but all the big money around here does. We have lots of sun so I figure my little science experiment could pay off.

Since I have zero experience in gardening my plan was to start with some basic stuff like tomatoes and maybe some herbs. Chili peppers grow really well around here but I’m kind of a wuss when it comes to spicy food, so I wouldn’t get as much enjoyment out of growing those because they wouldn’t get eaten.

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I have a small 8’x8’ above the ground garden. I grow several different kinds of peppers (chili, habanero, ghost, tabasco). Yeah, I like the spice. The wife is Vietnamese so I also grow luffa (Vietnamese veggie also called Muop). Very nutritious and goes well in a broth along with your meat of choice. I also grow squash and okra. The former is very difficult for me to keep growing due to squash bugs. Yep, tomatoes as well but have to protect them with netting. Damn birds. Green onions too. Going to try sweet potatoes next year.

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Hydroponic stuff definitely seems interesting, just a bit more investment (and attention) than I’m looking to put into it. But yeah, the yield is supposed to be pretty consistent.

Nice. A year or two ago I tried growing pepperoncini, with the idea being to pickle them. I got, like, one the whole season so I didn’t bother. My habaneros have been turning from green to orange to red the last week or two, so I’m starting to pull those. Good stuff.

We live on a rock pile, literally, we have exposed bedrock in our backyard. We’ve been thinking about doing raised beds but that will require a ton of topsoil and of course constructing the whole thing including netting. Right now its still in the design phase but we do want to do it.

I love basil and had a garden with lemon, licorice, Italian and Greek types.

My favorite snack was to take a little plum tomato, wrap it in a big leaf and chow down.

Awesome thread. I didn’t get around to it this summer, but I’ve been wanting to grow stuff. Figured I’d be more likely to eat veggies, and they’d be absent the usual pesticides and chemicals.

So nothing helpful to add, but I’m looking forward to hearing what others have done!

I used to really be into this growing up in Mississippi. I lived in NYC for the past 8 years so was limited on what I could grow from a skyscraper window sill. I just moved to New Orleans and now have some amazingly fertile ground to work with and a lot of it. Will be doing some research and decide what I’m going to do but I’m very interested in this and look forward to hearing what you guys are having success with.

Started radishes indoors a few weeks back, just to see if I could. Turned into a simple and quick little project that anyone with a little kiddo might enjoy. (Or, really, any newbie gardener who needs a confidence boost. Self included.)


Week 1, Week 2, Week 3. Need to figure out how to transplant them next.

The weather here has been bonkers. Like 50 degrees for two days, then 30 with snow, then 40 and raining, then 55, then a little snow. I had a frickin’ dandelion pop up in my backyard… in December.

My Brussels Sprouts are trucking along as best they can. I realized too late that I overcrowded the pot so I have five plants bunched together. They’re still growing steadily but should’ve been mature by now. They’re about half-size. I’m gonna let them do whatever they want for as long as they want. Supposedly they like they cold weather, so that’s no prob.

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If my dogs would stop destroying my rosemary plants I would have plenty to show. I haven’t branched off into planting actually veggies, so I figured I’d start off with the herb plants. Once I get a few bills out of the way, I’ll re-plant.

I have been thinking about getting some herbs in window boxes after the winter. Preferably something that will smell nice in the house when I open the window, if that’s a thing that can happen. But, we live in the city (tight quarters next to other buildings) and don’t get much sun at most of the windows. Maybe some mint or something?

I didn’t want to chug up the flame free thread with my crazy so…
@flappinit this shit right here is what screws with my brain.
Tomatoes that are green when they are ripe.
Green zebra tomatoes
IMG_4476

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I have tried to refrain myself on this thread but… I can’t help it.
Now that the silly season is over I am making plans to rebuild greenhouse.
This was from 2011 and I would really like to see it like this again.
IMG_4478

Did I mention I like pepper plants? IMG_4477

Anyway, it’s time to start some of those spring seeds here in Texas.
I have picked out at least six varieties of tomatoes, numerous peppers, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, some herbs.

Anybody else getting plans together?

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Wow… amazing greenhouse!!! I’d kill to have this in my backyard!! Up here in Canada, the growing season is so short that everything seems to mature all at the same time so I’m inundated with produce for about a month and then everything dies. Nevertheless, I’ve had some good success with several varieties of tomatoes, habaneros, Thai chilies, jalapeños, Serranos, ghost peppers, a few types of lettuce, cucumbers, basil and Swiss chard. And my garlic is my pride and joy.

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Thank you! I have neglected it for several years due to a extreme drought and more pressing issues, but am ready to see it growing again.

We have a looong growing season but the winters aren’t cold enough for some if the cold crops. Lettuce is almost impossible. I have had the best luck with butter crunch. I love swiss chard!

Due to the long season I like indeterminate tomatoes. I usually plant some Celebrity because of the disease resistance just in case, but my dad liked super fantastic and they do great here. They make a huge vine which is good to keep the fruit from getting sun blistered. Will also plant some early season like Early girl or Fireworks, then some roma type, and cherry.

There will definitely be peppers lol (I like pepper plants) I would like to find some I can dry to make chili powder and chipotle out of. A good combination for heat and flavor.

There has to be garlic! And beets, squash, zucchini, beans, black eyes peas, cucumbers (have you tried the lemon cucumbers?)

Never tried lemon cucumbers. I’m pretty boring in terms of varieties of veggies. The most adventurous I’ve gotten before are some German tomatoes that were beautiful shades of yellow and pink. With your long growing season and your greenhouse, do you have produce pretty much year round?

They are definitely worth a try.

I have entertained the thought of keeping things going year round but have never actually done it. By the end of summer, which here, can be up into October I am “over it”. We’ll see how it goes this year, I may try something this year just to see how it pans out.

It has begun…

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Been slowly getting some kind of direction. Doing some reading/watching vids - Farmer’s Almanac site, a bunch of random Youtubers, a local nursery in town here. Picked up a little yearly calendar just to map out the whats and whens. Need to start some indoor stuff within the next couple of weeks.

Pretty sure I’m going to turn the kiddo’s broken down little swingset into a garden bed. It’s a 5’x6’ footprint in a nice spot for sunlight. Looking into square foot gardening, actually, which is supposed to be good for beginners.

The weather has been completely bananas here lately though. It was 65 this past Sunday and they’re saying 1-3 inches of snow for tomorrow. If that kind of yo-yo’ing keeps up all year, things’ll be interesting.

Oh, and about those little containers in my pic last month… I killed them. Turns out root vegetables don’t do great with transplanting. Or I just screwed it up (the much, much more likely scenario). Still, it was fun and I might actually repeat with just one seed per cup and leaving it be.

They typically have some good info on their site. I still believe in planting by the moon signs. I know most people don’t.

The weather here has been nuts as well. 80 one day, 50 the next. We are finally getting some rain and that is always a good thing. I am hoping it lets up long enough for me to till up the sandy end to plant the onions this weekend.

I am going to do something different with the potatoes this year. I have a large wire shipping crate and going to layer in hay and dirt. Every year I plant the potatoes the fire ants destroy them.

I haven’t had much luck transplanting roots veggies. I usually just plant them in the ground. Daddy said his mom always started the beets and transplanted them, I may give it another try.

Found some beautiful elephant garlic at the grocery store yesterday, hope it grows! Picked up some tomato seeds too.

Some of my peeps have some nice raised beds a little larger than that and do well with them. They have tepees in the middle for climbing stuff and plant around them.