Victory Gardens... show what we can do!

About a month ago, when I began to realize how disruptive the virus would be once it got going here, I began preparing.... I'm sure a lot of us did, and beat the panic buying. Three weeks ago, I began planting a garden, even though our last frost date is April 15, it appeared the trend was to be an earlier/warmer spring than usual. I started in containers in case they had to go inside. Now, I have the garden about half planted in the ground... started with cooler crops, moving toward hot weather crops... tomatoes and peppers will probably be planted around April 1... ground cherries and Malabar spinach soon after. Since I've been staying in this resort/retirement area (helping an elderly relative) most folks (retirees from up north) have looked at me as the neighborhood redneck. Now, I notice them asking me questions and imitating me.... So, I propose we all become examples. As each of us comes into our early planting season in our regions, lets document our gardens (and livestock, if applicable), food preparation and preservation, etc. Maybe we could each do an individual blog about our "Victory Gardens" and link to each other. We could chat and brainstorm here on the forums... and trouble shoot, too! If a bunch of us did this, and worked together as a group, we could get some visibility on google and really help folks. So much of what I am doing is an experimental, shotgun approach - I've never grown food in a place like this.... sand and pines, low PH, lots of shade... neighbors too close in to eat the deer before they eat my garden (unless things really get bad), and no legal way to keep a few hens. So, if I can pull this off, there have to be some lessons I can share with others in similar places. So, a couple dozen of us couple probably represent most climates and unique regions. I'd love some feedback on this.... heck, it could be good for mental health in our anxious climate, too!


  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have herbs and walking onions in pots in the house with a grow light. Still waiting on those darn dandelions to sprout from seed. I will probably keep all in the house due to different desert conditions to master. I have "emergency" heirloom vegetable seeds near the end of their viable storage. I have not prepped my tiny outdoor area yet -- may decide to plant there anyway depending how the world behaves itself.

    If I do plant out there without fencing, I will be contending with dry desert air, sandy soil, too much shade (I know, right?), and potential pet peeing on the plants as discussed in other postings.

    In the meantime, I have a stealth composting area that my husband has not discovered yet. I haven't added enough to draw the critters yet either, just eggshells, coffee grounds, old potting soil....

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 I also am known for being blunt and I can offend people without trying. That said, I also value different cultures and people as you do. I was even married to a Texas southerner for 6 years. (Born and raised in the midwest.)

    I enjoyed your blog, so keep it up. I am especially pleased that the residents there are waking up and remembering the gardens they grew up with.

  • lmrebert
    lmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭


  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    Great start! This will be fun to follow. Sometimes being one of the few to get ready for things can feel a little lonely.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,462 admin

    Thanks for all the positive comments, y'all! I'll be doing regular posts on the garden. I hope others will start similar blogs so we can link and be a resource.

  • StacyLou
    StacyLou Posts: 89 ✭✭

    Great post! It's getting a bit scary out there. We've changed plans for this year's garden.

    Last summer, we had several things happen that prevented us from keeping up with our garden. As a result, we lost out on a lot of harvests and weren't able to keep the weeds at bay. We didn't even get a chance to clean it up before the snow hit early!

    So, this year we originally had planned on redesigning it - we were going to make the investment into 4 really nice raised 8 foot beds and slowly reconfigure the rest of the garden. This would have been substantially less than what we had worked in previous years - we have 11 beds that are about 16 feet each.

    Given the current situation, we decided to forego the raised bed investment and get as much planted as we possibly can. We were out on Saturday working in the garden for the first time this year. It was really nice to be back out there! We cleared out the weeds and debris in one of the beds so that we could plant our garlic. About 2 weeks ago, we realized that we missed doing this in the fall because the snow came early. We normally get huge garlic when we plant in the fall. I know when you plant it in the spring in WI, it's not going to do as well. Hopefully, we'll at least get normal sized garlic and get back into the proper planting scheme starting in the fall.

    Stay healthy and safe everyone!

  • EarlKelly
    EarlKelly Posts: 230 ✭✭✭

    Finally got my daughter to start thinking of doing some prepping. She lives in the city and rents. Still looking for a property in the country. So in the meantime talked her into starting a bucket garden. She is making phone calls to find free buckets to plant her garden in. Having a hard time finding some food in the city now. This will give her some fresh food for her and the kids. The have always loved to come to grandpa’s farm where they can pick fresh fruits and vegetables and eat them right there. I am doing a major expansion of my garden area this year. Have to take care of family. Love hearing about what everyone else is doing. Gives me ideas also. Stay well and stay safe.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,462 admin

    I haven't posted in a week or so, on my garden and blog. We had some cool, rainy weather.... but mainly, I've had poison oak! I only planted 7 rows last week - okra, chives and onions. I'll be back at it hard this week since the rash is pretty much gone and the weather looks good. It is already time to trellis the beans and peas in the buckets. The same beans and peas planted in the ground are only 2 inches tall. Black buckets resulted in more warmth and faster growth!

  • Melinda
    Melinda Posts: 123 ✭✭✭

    That is awesome! Keep it going. We have five different tomatoes, peppers, beets, carrots, potatoes, sweet onions, scallions, shallots, six different beans, peas, soybeans, three different cucs, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and a ton of herbs. I started most of them about seven weeks ago in the greenhouse and expanded my gardening area. Now for this week to finish (last week of frost for our area), so I can get them in the ground. We took down three or four smallish trees overhanging the new garden area, so I am using the branches and stumps for marking off beds. I also got a big dump of wood chips from an arborist for making paths and mulching the garden beds.

  • Karin
    Karin Posts: 272 ✭✭✭

    Reading all your posts makes me wish we weren't heading into winter here. We had a great tomato crop this year, and my partner has made enough sauce to keep us and friends going till next year I hope. Also still got basil growing, and hoping to get pesto made this weekend. Our capsicums are just all ripening up nicely, and we have frozen some, cut into strips. We had a good crop of butter beans too, but they have died off now its getting chilly. Usually I would have started broccoli and carrots but we were planning to sell and move so hadn't got anything else started :( Now with us all in lockdown over here, there is no selling and buying of houses, so we are in limbo. Luckily we are in a small rural town with access to fresh veges from the market gardens, but there's really nothing like homegrown veges!