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Sun Mar 22, 2020, 10:43 AM

If you have some sun in your yard, this is a perfect time to grow something! COVID-19 therapy!

You can use containers, or straw bales, or build raised beds, or dig up an area - some options below

An article I wrote about straw bale gardening is here - https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/straw-bale-gardens/8882.html

Pretty much anything you can grow in the ground can be grown in containers or straw bales. The biggest thing is the need for closer attention to watering and feeding - but there is far less weeding.

Easy from seed, lower sun requirements, quick growing, but don't like heat so depends where you live, where you are in your season, etc - all sorts of greens...lettuce, various Asian greens, chard - peas. Swiss Chard will last well into the summer, of hot throughout. Beets!

Easy from seed, higher sun requirements, like heat - all kinds of beans (bush snap, pole snap, bush dried, pole dried), squash, melons (vining, so need room), cukes (there are bush varieties, but vining types need room), corn, okra

Start seeds indoors - 2 months from germination to plant out - tomatoes, eggplants, peppers (or purchase starts at garden centers or farmers markets). The more direct sun you get, the larger tomato (fruit size) you can grow well. The big one pound or more types don't set fruit well when it gets to 90 degrees or above, in high humidity.

A bit trickier are the cole crops - cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels Sprouts - really dependent on temperatures (they do not like heat) - could be a fall crop for some of you. Easy from seeds, but probably best from starts.

I hope to start some weekly Q and A sessions using technology such as Zoom - just looking for ways to be a resource when my various speaking gigs have been cancelled.

Go out and garden, and ask anything!

You can follow my blog, find videos on seed starting at my website - follow me on Instagram (I use it as a sharing and teaching tool - @nctomatoman) - subscribe to my newsletter - Sign up for my newsletter

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply If you have some sun in your yard, this is a perfect time to grow something! COVID-19 therapy! (Original post)
NRaleighLiberal Mar 22 OP
femmocrat Mar 22 #1
mgardener Mar 23 #11
Canoe52 Mar 22 #2
Bayard Mar 22 #3
NRaleighLiberal Mar 22 #6
Tbear Mar 22 #4
Bayard Mar 22 #5
NRaleighLiberal Mar 22 #7
Bayard Mar 23 #9
MyMission Mar 23 #8
patricia92243 Mar 23 #10
drray23 Mar 24 #12
NRaleighLiberal Mar 24 #14
NRaleighLiberal Mar 24 #15
drray23 Mar 24 #16
mahina Mar 24 #13

Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Sun Mar 22, 2020, 11:11 AM

1. I started tomatoes indoors.

Did my heart good.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 23, 2020, 05:25 PM

11. Started mine too

Of course it is snowing right now, but Wed is supposed to be 45!!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Sun Mar 22, 2020, 11:33 AM

2. Putting in our raised bed veggie garden finally!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Sun Mar 22, 2020, 12:11 PM

3. Couple questions for you

1... The last few years, I lose all my hollyhocks to rust or some kind of fungoid (even raking up all the infected leaves and mulch), and it also sneaks over into the zinnias, apple trees, and others. I'm thinking of trying a sulfur product this year. Something like, Bonide, that I can order online. Opinion? I see the same stuff on many of the trees in our woods.

2.... I trimmed up the out of control raspberries in a raised bed, already leafing out. I stuck the trimmings in another empty bed. Will they root?

Thanks, O' Wise One!

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Response to Bayard (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 22, 2020, 05:46 PM

6. hollyhocks, zinnias, apples - even squash and cukes - are prone to downy mildew

I wonder if it is that? Especially bad in humidity. Copper spray (which is considered organic) is worth a try.

As far as whether berry canes will root....seems they are a good bet, as long as the soil is kept moist until they do so.

Not a wise one...just a guy who like dirty hands and feet all spring/summer/fall long!!!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Sun Mar 22, 2020, 12:13 PM

4. Nice Website

I will be exploring later.
Signed up for the newsletter.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Sun Mar 22, 2020, 12:31 PM

5. Watermelons

Next question:

I've been making a new watermelon bed in a different area. Over the winter, been filling with used hay, horse manure, and leaves. About a foot high now. Can I use straw bales on top of that for planting my watermelons and cantaloupes, instead of dirt hills? Will composted horse manure (the really old stuff, good and decomposed) for the nitrogen in the bales?

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Response to Bayard (Reply #5)

Sun Mar 22, 2020, 05:47 PM

7. hmmm....

watermelon and canteloupes (and cukes and squash and nearly everything ) will do fine in bales - just keep in mind where they need to go (vining). Key is prepping them a few weeks in advance, then keeping them well watered. Soaker hoses lain over the bales works well, drip transmitters...or we humans with hoses!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 23, 2020, 01:21 AM

9. Thank you dear!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Mar 23, 2020, 12:30 AM

8. I planted flats of lettuce, kale and arugula

In several pots. I got the plants at tractor supply several weeks ago when I was buying extra dog food. I'm Already picking some, great to eat fresh greens.they tolerate the cold weather.

And peas are a great cold weather crop I plant every year. Plant now in ground or pots with trellis or poles. I planted some late last month and some several weeks ago, and some today. I stagger my planting every few weeks. I expect to have some peas by May.
Also planted some radish seeds.

I'm also going to get some cherry tomato plants, which I generally grow in pots when I start early, so I can cover or bring them in if the weather turns cold. I may start some seeds inside but usually buy already started, assorted varieties. I sometimes get them from Lowe's or home Depot or the local co-op. The local college won't be having their plant sale this year, and I'll miss that because I usually get assorted starts from them.

And being outside in the fresh air and sunshine is a very good thing.

Thanks NRaleigh for the information and encouragement. I wanted to echo what you wrote about cold weather crops and gardening. I plant in pots and in ground because I have the space. I can move pots with the sun and voles impact what I'm growing in the ground, so I tend to like container gardening better, but I do both.
I'm in Western NC.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon Mar 23, 2020, 08:54 AM

10. k/r

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 12:07 AM

12. What would you recommend as a covid crop ?

Something easy to grow that has good yield to provide an alternate source of vegetables in case its scarcer the store.
I live not far from your location. I'm right at the NC border in southeastern Virginia.

I've done tomatoes several times but I usually end up with them cracking or being eaten by bugs before they are done.

Would salad or cabbage be easy? Don't they allow for several harvests?

I have room ( 7 acres.. ) . We have a beekeeping operation but I never seriously explored gardening.



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Response to drray23 (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 07:43 AM

14. let me ponder and do a proper response when I am on my laptop

thx for the great question!

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Response to drray23 (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 09:37 AM

15. A few thoughts below

think of tomatoes as the ultimate test of truly learning gardening - to grow them well in many areas of the country takes daily monitoring for issues. But there are so many types that anyone can find varieties they can grow well. Small fruited ones - cherry up to golf ball sized- are quite fool-proof. The really large ones are pretty sensitive to differing weather conditions.

The really easy things - lettuce, radishes - are pretty quick spring or fall crops - great while you have them, but then the gap happens.

Swiss Chard - it stands up to summer well, is a great all purpose green, and is very easy to grow - and comes in great colors (Bright Lights variety).

Bush beans - lots of yield for the effort, can be canned.

Peppers, eggplants - easier to grow well than tomatoes, and if happy, can provide lots of volume, and can be easily preserved

Summer or winter squash are easy, but certain pests can really blunt the yields (esp squash vine borer).

Melons - yum! - but although easy to get going, fussy when it comes to weather - takes up lots of room.

Basil - easy to grow, yields heavily - and PESTO!

A few ideas for you!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #15)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 09:49 AM

16. Thank you so much.

Very useful info.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Tue Mar 24, 2020, 01:17 AM

13. This is great thank you.

Following

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