Most bang for your buck......

jonhughes(So.Oregon)January 30, 2013

I wrote this note to one of our members this morning, I have posted it here for the benefit of all, I am blessed and am willing to share what little wisdom I have with all, so you too can be blessed as well. I have 1397 square feet of gardening beds and last years "take" was 10,799 lbs of fresh vegetables, that were donated to our local foodbank, (my family and I consumed quite a bit that weren't weighed )

Hi,
I also do French Intensive /Biodynamic gardening, but am not anal about it (meaning= I do it when it has actual value/not just to do it), what I have discovered is that if you plant tomatoes that close, they will not thrive, you want every plant that you are, going to nurture and love on, to produce to it�s maximum ability, if you give your plants the necessary light,moisture,nutrients they will produce for you,God has engineered them to do just that. If any of these three elements are not present during the growing cycle ,they will not thrive, what you want is for your plants to compete with their "will to survive/propagate their species", they have an innate desire to make viable seed, ..........................they will produce seed,.......................... if you continue to extract their "offspring" before it is fertile, they will continue to create offspring that will allow their species to continue........in other words ....pick and pick often......never....... let a "fruit" remain on the vine ....on any plant......if the plant ever knows it has accomplished it�s one desire "to produce fertile seed", it will begin to die, it will not thrive anymore,,,,,,,it is your job to pick and pick often......never......let a plant know it has accomplished its desire.....never....never..............

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lgteacher(SCal)

Glad to see you're still on these forums. Your garden is amazing and you are a blessing to others. Looking forward to seeing more photos this year.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 10:30AM
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jonhughes(So.Oregon)

Wow, i didn't realize that was true with tomatoes. That's what i have been doing is leaving them on the vine until completely ripe, and only getting a handful of tomatoes from each plant. how far apart do you plant your tomatoes?

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I plant them in 8� tall cages, each get four square feet of space, once they have grown over two feet tall, you may then grow other things in and all around them, just nothing as tall as them, they all want full sun.
You must build 8� tall cages, the cheapest /longest lasting is to use remesh, you can purchase that at most hardware stores, it is used in concrete like rebar, but it is wire with 6" holes, it comes in 5� tall and 8 � tall, go with the 8�, your plants with thrive. if you give them the opportunity to do so.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 10:36AM
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jonhughes(So.Oregon)

so no more than 4 tomatoes in a 4x8 bed? That seems like such a small number of plants. I planted about 40 last yr and barely had a few to eat fresh, the yr before enough for fresh but none to can. Currently i am working with 3- 4x8 beds, 3- 2x20 beds, and planning on adding a few more outside the fence.
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If .......you have full sun........I get 8 tomato plants in a 4� x 8� bed.....and after they are tall enough I plant beets, Kohlrabi, etc etc (big leaf plants) all around the bottoms.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 10:44AM
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elisa_z5

Yes, glad to see you posting again, jonhughes. How are your butternut storing this year? Well, I hope. :)
I was truly amazed by the amount you produced when you laid out all the numbers last year.
Are you doing Biodynamics? With BD 500 and the compost preps and all that? Wondering if that is what is helping your productivity. I used BD preps two years ago and had my most productive year ever, so I've been wondering if it is worthwhile to do it again this next year.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 7:09PM
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jonhughes(So.Oregon)

Hi Elisa,
All of my Butternuts were stored in the house (70 degrees) this year, I still have 20 or so left, and they are all doing great....I have never done any fertilizing (besides Compost and Cow Manure in early spring), I may try it this year, and see if it boost's me over the 12000 lbs mark.

1st year 700 lbs
2nd Year 5160 lbs
3rd year 9173 lbs
4th year 10799 lbs
Hopefully next year I can break the 12000 lb mark, I don't weigh what my family and friends eat, so I may have been close this year...

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 10:13PM
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elisa_z5

That boggles the mind!
I, too, am looking forward to photos this year. :)
Elisa

    Bookmark   February 1, 2013 at 5:57PM
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