Skip to comments.Growing Money in the Backyard
Posted on 05/10/2014 6:09:10 PM PDT by RightSideNews
This is my story on how you can cut down your grocery bill while improving your diet. Its called intensive organic vegetable gardening and its like growing money in the backyard.My wife and I completed our organic certification course last year at the University of Richmonds School of Professional and Continuing Studies. We decided to take this course so we could eat healthier and reduce our grocery bill. This has been a fun project and we look forward to growing our own vegetables, or as I like to call it: growing money in the backyard!
(Excerpt) Read more at virginiafreecitizen.com ...
I am considering planting some things like choke cherries and fruit trees in my backyard.
We are avid gardeners but this article made me realize that I don’t have the organic certification course... at the University of Richmonds School of Professional and Continuing Studies. I feel so ignorant.
Unless you live in a state with no frost, you’ll need to do a lot of canning to have those vegetables year round.
Brining/pickling should work too.
Ping for later. Thanks.
I little Miracle Grow doesn’t hurt either....
Yeah..that’s nice. Wonder how well it works when it’s 5 degrees Fahrenheit with clouds everyday for two months.
It’s so cute when rabid libs try to tell me how to do something my family has done for generations due to liberal policies.
I wish someone would set up a website where articles and instructions for example could be presented for general useage so that everyone might be able to do such things. Especially help for different people in different climates, instead of assuming that everyone lives in the middle of a large area of fertile and freely available land.
The closest I have come to is the Geoff Lawton series, as long as you can get past his almost hippie-esque attitude. He at least presents vids that show possibilities for differing climates with already-done examples. What I am looking for though is more specific instructions as well as help from others who have already had experience with similar climates of people who are trying to successfully grow things as well.
I first heard of “intensive gardening” in 1975.
The recipe was simple. Dig down one foot. Throw in coffee grounds and eggshells. Plant stuff.
Seems cute. Won’t last long here with the strong winds and three-foot snowfalls we get every year.
Start out with patio tomatoes grown in containers and learn your way through that. If your soil isn’t a good, rich soil it can be corrected with some sphagnum peat and Black Cow, both cheap at any home center such as Lowe’s. Keep the soil from drying out completely down beneath the surface, but don’t overwater either, you’ll drown the plant. Container needs drainage to help prevent this.
There are certain pests that bother certain plants. Tomato sornworms, etc., wear gloves and pick those off. Ladybugs eat most garden pests as do praying mantis. Wiping the plant with warm slightly soapy water will kill aphids without use of pesticide.
Branch out from there next year. You’ll probably kill one or two of the plants your first go if you’ve never done it. But, it’s not rocket science.
should be tomato hornworms.
“Wonder how well it works when its 5 degrees Fahrenheit with clouds everyday for two months”
We had worse than that and still we have a bumper crop of garlic, which we planted in September; strawberries, a perennial; and asparagus, which come up like weeds.
the trick was to cover everything with at least a foot of straw mulch... the first nice weather we had, those shoots were pushing through the top of the mulch like they couldn’t weight to get out...
our locale - just south of the cheddar curtain.
I think there’s a lot of wiggle room between full organic and the Monster of Monsanto.
A little MiracleGro now and then does not make food inedible, IMHO. I’ll use compost and “friendly” bugs as much as possible, and my resident toad is an honored guest in my garden, but I’m not shy about using a fungicide when powdery mildew appears, or a pinch of magic dust to knock down a bad infestation of assorted flying pests.
Organic is nice. Yup, it sure is. But the bugs do not win. Ever.
Thanks for that Simple Greenhouse info! That really helps me ALOT, as most solutions costs lots of money.
In a situation like that I would first think to heavily insulate the greenhouse, then pump in some “waste heat” from the residence, and use plant lights for light only, not heat.
The primary source of waste heat is likely the clothes dryer, but you would need a more constant source.
Thanks for the advice. It’s a little late in the year to plant new tomatos, but if I’m lucky I might be able to find a couple of pre-started plants still left at the local store. Tried growing tomatos many times in past years and they never managed to produce any edible tomatos before the fall frosts arrived and killed them so I grew disappointed. I will look out for the products you mentioned and try them.
Tomatoes like full sun, heat and humidity. If your climate is dry mist them after the sun’s off of them. If you’re determined and are just dealing with potted tomatoes, get some Peter’s Special or other liquid fertilizer.
Squirrels go after ripening tomatoes in some areas, so will some turtles. Deer don’t, not in my experience. Tomato cage helps with that to some extent, also helps support the plant when heavy with tomatoes.
The store tomatoes are generally not suited to be grown in the north.
Keep in mind that tomatoes have a maturity time before they will set fruit. The date on most packages are from the time you set them out.
Interesting website. I’ll set aside some time later and take a closer look at it to see what I can find. Thank you!
Most days average about a 40 degree swing, which means it can be 74 in the middle of the day (Hawaii normal) and drop down to 34 overnight, with 50 degree swings not uncommon. We do not really get past the danger of freezing water pipes until late April and get back to it by early October. Most of the tomato plants I tried managed to produce a few small tomatos, but the ripest never got to more than beginning to turn red before then turning yellow and the plant already dying.
Squirrels have not been a problem, mostly because there are quite a few neighborhood cats always about, but at least one neighbor had something come through and take a large bite out of a green tomato so probably deer are the greatest threat.
I will consider a tomato cage, thanks.
You may be right about the store-bought tomatos. I have tried all four varieties and so far have had no success.
What if you ran a little plastic pipe under the ground, with some of the black portion above ground, all sealed, and let the sun slowly move warmer water through the pipes, just a sealed, passive system.
You can buy 300 lettuce seeds for 2.25 dollars or 17,000 for 5 dollars. Lettuce seeds will last several years in the fridge and are good in cooler regions like yours. I like this lettuce seed here:
Sounds like some sort of heat sump nearby would help. A heat sump can be as simple as planting beside a south facing stone/brick/cinderblock wall.
A simple “greenhouse” of clear plastic stretched over thin PVC piping and then placing milk jugs inside in the sun, filled with water and painted black to better absorb and retain heat (which will be released overnight, heat sump), will keep the inside of the expedient greenhouse considerably warmer. There are fairly inexpensive plastic prefab mini-greenhouses available from garden catalogs and websites too, if you’re just not that handy.
If your house is masonry and has a good sunny southern exposure consider a foundation bed for tomatoes there.
dittos on the ping for later.
lolol... love it! that’s my kind of gardening too! Except I use tea grounds with my coffee..
Here in North Idaho there isn’t a long growing season. My place in Hawaii things get rotten easy.
I found a book called “Square Foot Gardening” at the thrift store. I highly suggest this method. It works great and can be planned out to maximize yield. The small 4x4 beds are easy to protect and maintain.
The lettuce looks interesting as well, However I need to build a planter box or three before I can expand much so again something to consider for next year. Thanks.
I have done intensive organic gardening for years. Only takes a plot of land roughly 20 x 15. Contact your local county ag agent or as I did the U. of Ky many years ago. UK offered a calculator that once you fed in the type of veggies you wanted to grow you got a estimated cash value of your efforts.
When you set up your garden produce the higher priced veggies so you can save the most money. Make your garden almost maintenance free with the use of black landscape material that keeps the weeds from germinating, plant your rows close to together and use boards to walk on. Green beans are easy to do by buying if you can find them in your area tobacco sticks. Take two sticks cross them at the top take two more cross them at the top and stick them in the ground lay on a cross bar and then tie strings to the cross bars and then use twigs as stakes. The beans will climb the strings and tobacco sticks and you end up with a wall of beans over waist high instead staying bent over to pick them. I have a bad back so this helps. Electric ties to hook together the cross bars and x’s you have formed work well as will string or pieces of cloth.
Something else I used was cattle fencing for cucumbers, just mound your cucumbers as you normally would and make a cylinder a couple of feet across, cut the cross wire at the bottom to secure the cylinder in the ground around the plant, tie two tobacco sticks to the column after driving the sticks in the ground and cut out an occasional square here and there in your column so it is easier to harvest the cucumbers. You then have a column of cucumbers instead of them taking a bunch of space on the ground and being vulnerable to being unseen by you and stepped on or something getting to them. The cucs will hang as they climb the column and there is much less bending over this way.
Run a water hose and attach a couple of sprinklers down the middle of your garden for dry days. Turn the hose on for 45 minutes and don’t worry about.
Use heirloom tomatoes as the skin is thinner and they are much better tasting tomatoes.
I could tell you other things you can do but that would take the fun out of it. The amount you can grow is only limited by your imagination. I did not go to school for this stuff it is just common sense.
I am basically a lazy person though I find gardening relaxing I have limited time and so I always look at my jobs and figure out how to do it with least effort. I raised a 40x20 garden and fed the whole neighborhood, no one was growing anything till I showed up, now they all are. Another way is box or terrace gardening if you have limited space. Purely organic gardening is tough unless you have knowledge of natural pest control. I know a little but a bag of seven dust goes a long way. There is tons of materials on the net and a zillion books on this subject. Just go to the college bookstore near you that offers the courses and buy the study materials. Cheaper and less time consuming than college.
I don't garden but am interested in starting a upright, self-watering, soda bottle garden in my condo. Just today, I reviewed several videos on how to do this.
Certification from a university? Really? My grandparents would have a good laugh at that.
Weekly Gardening Tread, a regular Freeper feature for several years, with a LOT of members, at all skill levels, from newbie to professional, and all willing to help.
Liked your posting.
Why don’t these “genuises” of gardening ever publish anything about how people lived during WW II, when we were growing all types of fruits and vegetables in our Victory Gardens? Soil preparation, drainage, bone meal, etc., worked well then.
Every house on my street had a garden, but folks would grow different types of food so that it could be shared and swapped with neighbors. Women would gather at different times at each others’ houses to help can the food.
As a young kid, I recall taking the egg shells and coffee grounds to spread around various plants in the garden. I also worked in the plantings and harvests. We had peaches, plums, apples, grapes, figs, cherries, straw/black/raspberries, onions, tomatoes, carrots, turnips, etc. We shared with neighbors who grew corn, potatoes, etc.
Gardening is not a mysterious science.
> “Yeah..thats nice. Wonder how well it works when its 5 degrees Fahrenheit with clouds everyday for two months.”
Works pretty daggum well!
But not organic
That may work but the cost would be considerable.
With the amount of mulch (1 foot) and two feet of snow most of this winter, I reckon it never got below freezing in the root zone.
Next year we plan to measure temperature in the root zone to see how warm it stays.