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What are your garden plans for 2022?

 
steward
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sow seeds 2022


This image really stuck out to me. It's been a crazy couple of years, and it did my heart a world of good to think about what I sow into the new year to make the year good.

What new projects are you working on to make 2022 better?

What new plants are you trying out to enjoy this year?

Any new techniques you'll be trying?

Or maybe you're just sticking to the tried & true for a nice feeling of consistency in a crazy world!
 
Nicole Alderman
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Here's some of the things we're "seeding" into the new year:

(1) Building just one new garden bed. We're slowely trying to transform a patch of salmonberry/bindweed/blackberry into a garden. It happens to be in one of the few full-sun areas of our property.

(2) Trying to grow watermellons. I'll probably fail, but the kids really want to try, so we bought seeds and will give it a whirl!

(3) Putting more time and love into our existing garden beds (adding in compost a-la Ruth Stout method), and keeping out the buttercup.

(4) Growing more carrots, peas, radishes, and tomatoes to make the kids (and me!) excited to be in the garden

(5) Squash, beans and corn for staple foods, and because the kids really, really want corn on the cob.

(6) More potatoes! They're so easy, make so much nutrient-dense food, and there's such a lovely sense of security in having a lot of calories just waiting in the garden if you need them!

20220121_162856-1-.jpg
Smothering the bindweed and bramble, cleaning out random chuncks of concrete and plastic we discovered, and smothering with paper feed sacks and duck bedding! We'll probably grow corn and squash here.
Smothering the bindweed and bramble, cleaning out random chuncks of concrete and plastic we discovered, and smothering with paper feed sacks and duck bedding! We'll probably grow corn and squash here.
 
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I can't wait to garden this season! It's my last season here before I move and I'm determined to make it my best yet. Some of the things I'm excited about are:

1. More dahlias. Is 50 plants too many? I think not. Last year I was able to keep my friends in fresh bouquets for a couple months and fill my own home with flowers.

2. A new to me tomato variety called Annarita that is supposed to store up to 6 months on the vine. We grew a huge chunk of our food last year but struggled to process and store it. I'm hoping this one will be happy hanging in a cool, dark laundry room.

3. A mostly weed free garden at the end of the season. I know this sounds picky, but it's because new gardeners are more likely to join the community garden if the plots seem ready to go. Two years ago I dug all four of my plots out from under a combination of grass, thistle, and bindweed, and added manure/woodchips/cardboard and I'm excited to pass it on to the next person.

4. Hosting a seed swap. I'm trying to build more community in the community garden. It's been challenging the last couple years since we've had no events so this spring I'm going to plan a seed swap to get everyone connected early. Plus people give me extra seeds which I start and then share with gardeners who get plots later in the season.
 
pollinator
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I'm adding four new raised beds. A bunch of 2x12s were left on our property so I have more than enough for my beds. But mostly it will be similar to last year, tweaking amounts of crops. Last year we had way too many cucumbers, eggplant and chile peppers, but our winter squash, sweet potatoes and okra did poorly. And I struggled with knowing when to harvest melons so I'm going to try to improve this. I'm desperately hoping that we don't have a repeat of last years heat wave, that really set back the plants.
 
gardener
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Jori Love wrote:
1. More dahlias. Is 50 plants too many? I think not. Last year I was able to keep my friends in fresh bouquets for a couple months and fill my own home with flowers.

2. A new to me tomato variety called Annarita that is supposed to store up to 6 months on the vine. We grew a huge chunk of our food last year but struggled to process and store it. I'm hoping this one will be happy hanging in a cool, dark laundry room.

3. A mostly weed free garden at the end of the season. I know this sounds picky, but it's because new gardeners are more likely to join the community garden if the plots seem ready to go. Two years ago I dug all four of my plots out from under a combination of grass, thistle, and bindweed, and added manure/woodchips/cardboard and I'm excited to pass it on to the next person.

4. Hosting a seed swap. I'm trying to build more community in the community garden. It's been challenging the last couple years since we've had no events so this spring I'm going to plan a seed swap to get everyone connected early. Plus people give me extra seeds which I start and then share with gardeners who get plots later in the season.



Fantastic list! I love each plan more than the one before it.

My plan is simply to do *something* garden-related every day. I don't know how much of the garden will be fenced, weeded, and prepped by spring, so I have no plans about how much to plant.
The one new seed I bought to try was Spilanthes (toothache plant).
 
pollinator
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I'm growing a lot of flowers from seeds I've collected (many of which are already outside, cold-stratifying in containers under the snow). But I also want to expand my veggie gardens. Fennel, kale, potatoes and okra are all new to me this year. I usually grow beets, peas, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, chives, rhubarb, strawberries, squash, pumpkins, zucchini and things like that - mainly for eating fresh, obviously not providing a ton of calories or anything.

Last year I tried three sisters gardening, and I wasn't successful because I didn't understand how much water corn needs, and I think I didn't plant early enough. We have a short growing season - I didn't want to attempt to start them and lose them to frost. However, I will start them earlier this year and just cover those areas if we are going to have a very cool night.

The other thing I'm attempting is taking cuttings from our wild fruit shrubs at the end of winter / beginning of spring. We have sand cherries, blueberries, grapes, elderberry, gooseberries and currants, among others I'm sure. (Already have a couple of these started from last year but want more.) I realize I could buy 'improved' varieties, but I like wild fruit and native plants.

It sounds ambitious, typing it all up. If I don't accomplish everything, that's okay. At least there will be flowers.
 
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This coming year I am not going to be doing any experiments but will concentrate on those things I know I can grow here in the north of the UK. There will be courgettes (zucchini), French beans, kale, cucumbers, onions/shallots, Florence (bulb) fennel and radishes (I eat the seed pods of them although Mr Ara is not impressed).
More flowers are an intention but the rabbits like to keep tasting so many of them and leaving the blooms on the ground if they decide they are not edible.
Unfortunately, last year was a year of (non-Covid related) health issues which kept me out of the garden so, now that they are more controlled, I am hoping to spend more time out there.
Happy gardening everyone.
 
pollinator
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This year I'm going to reattempt to grow from seed some various plants that have eluded me in my previous attempts: witch hazel, chionanthus virginicus, goumi, phacelia tanacetafolia, albizia julibrissin, etc.

Last year I took the year off from growing anything from softwood cuttings, so this year I'd like to get back into that again.

Infrastructure-wise, I'm going to build some additional air-pruner beds, and keep adding new zones to my irrigation system. I'd also like to build a roadside farm stand, and clean up the front of my property a bit so that it doesn't look like such a terrifying redneck trash heap.

In the existing plantings, I will be plugging in additional wildflowers and nitrogen fixers.
 
Jori Love
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Marisa Lee wrote:I'm growing a lot of flowers from seeds I've collected (many of which are already outside, cold-stratifying in containers under the snow).



Marisa did you see this post about winter sowing. Do you have any tips? I'm not the OP but I'd also love to hear from people who have done it successfully. I'd love to grow more flowers from seeds but I'm still learning the tricks to things like cold stratification.

Marisa Lee wrote:Last year I tried three sisters gardening, and I wasn't successful because I didn't understand how much water corn needs, and I think I didn't plant early enough. We have a short growing season - I didn't want to attempt to start them and lose them to frost. However, I will start them earlier this year and just cover those areas if we are going to have a very cool night.



I also have a short growing season and struggled to find the right method for three sisters. This first year I covered the corn to get it going early (this really helped me have a good corn harvest) but didn't get any dry beans because they didn't have enough time being planted last. Last year I planted beans on trellis' within the squash earlier and still didn't get any beans. So it's a days to maturity issue here for dry beans. But! It inspired me to try more combinations that work together.
 
pollinator
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I'm increasing the size of my potato patch by a factor of 4, and adding sweet potatoes as well.

I'm growing more snap beans. Normally I've actually avoided planting snap beans, because we just didn't eat them enough to justify the space. But now half my family is on the keto diet, and snap beans are a major part of most meals these days. I don't like how they're sometimes scarce at the grocery store, and how even the "good" brands are full of stems now. So, I've picked out some pole varieties and will be testing them out. With luck and good weather we'll be able to grow and can enough for most of the winter.

I'm doing large-scale tests of several species instead of testing 1-3 varieties at a time. The list includes several types of melons and watermelons, luffa gourds, bitter melons, C. mixta squash, and about 2 dozen varieties of grain. I'm not bothering to isolate them enough to keep the seeds pure. If one variety does well enough I want to grow it exclusively, I'll use the pure seed left in the packet next year. If several varieties do well enough, I might let them cross and make a landrace.

I'm mixing flour corns to try and develop something that has the same flavor and food value as Magic Manna, but with better pest and disease resistance. I love the taste of the MM, but I lose more than half my crop every year, and it's just not worth it.

Among the other varieties of grain being tested, are multiple varieties of perennial grains. That includes wheat, rye, oats, and flax. I also have 3 varieties of beans that are supposed to be perennial in the right climate. We'll see how they do here.

If the berry bushes I planted last year survived the winter, I intend to take cuttings and propagate them. I want lots and lots of berry bushes. I like berries.

I will be using a different planting technique than normal for my main garden. I have mobility issues that make it hard to get everything planted in time. This year I'll be sprinkling the seeds on top of the ground, then running over them with the tiller. Each type will be mixed with shorter-growing plants, like bush basil or dwarf marigolds, which will hopefully act as a cover crop to suppress the weeds.

I'm hoping to get some kind of scaffolding put around my biggest black cherry tree. It's on a steep enough slope that there's no way to put a ladder near it, and the cherries are too hard to reach from the ground. In addition to the fact that I love the taste, the local DNR pays a decent price for black cherries to use for seed, so I'd like to get in on that.

I'm sure there's something I'm leaving out, but those are my plans so far. I'll add more if I remember it.
 
gardener
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Expand my garden's size a little; plant fewer of everything but more varieties. More flowers and herbs. Continually add compost throughout the season.
 
pollinator
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Splitting my front yard into 2 growing areas.
One side of the yard I am planning on letting some winter squash take it over.... I have a couple of grex that I will let ramble and see what happens. Hopefully I will get a few ripe winter squash to save seeds from as well as eat.
On the other side  there will be more potatoes. Their flowers last year made a wonderful display and seemed right at home next to my daylily.  More Runner Beans in more colors then last year.  They seemed to like our cooler fall weather when the snap beans started to sulk.   DH wants me to grow a "red sweet corn" thankfully it has pretty stalks so it will also go in the front yard and so will my red okra if I plant it this year.   Also coming back will be the Dahlias, loved the two I had last year which was my first time to grow them.  This year I have some seeds coming from Cultivariable that I am looking forward to growing.

Backyard garden ummm no idea yet I am waiting for the flood of seeds from the MMMM swap in Tomato Junction to settle on that one.  I know there will be lots of beans, greens, maters, and we are trialing some sweet peppers for DH.  OH and we are really looking forward to one of the small watermelons that was offered that could work in our climate :)
 
Dorothy Pohorelow
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Jori Love wrote:

I also have a short growing season and struggled to find the right method for three sisters. This first year I covered the corn to get it going early (this really helped me have a good corn harvest) but didn't get any dry beans because they didn't have enough time being planted last. Last year I planted beans on trellis' within the squash earlier and still didn't get any beans. So it's a days to maturity issue here for dry beans. But! It inspired me to try more combinations that work together.



Someone in Tomato Junction suggested I and my friend try Yellow Indian Woman which is a bush dry bean that can be ready very quickly ie supposedly as soon as 65 days in good conditions.  I got some of them and a handful of one called Nez Perce that look very similar and could be almost as quick to try this year.  Coco Noir from Pinetree actually made some dry beans for us a couple of years ago when we had our early Sept 9th snow...  I didn't get enough to cook and save for seeds but I did get some to save and plant again.
 
Marisa Lee
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Thanks, Jori! I missed that thread, so I will check it out and join in.
 
master gardener
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I've got big plans for this year - trying a landrace/natural gardening approach to annual crops. I've not grown them much outside for several years - time pressure being one factor and acid soil and cool wet summers are also not conducive to success with most commercially available seeds. At least that's one of the conclusions I've reached. So far I've created a not-very-lazy-bed to start creating my landraces. I've bought a variety of seeds that might do well for me here and am starting to think about timing for sowing them. The rest of the growing area I need to improve the soil in less (labour) intensive ways so I can grow more in 2023.

Other projects include recovering my polytunnel. The plastic gave way early in the winter. Really I was expecting to have to replace it last year, so I did get an extra year out of it. We're also planning a house extension to give us a bigger kitchen, airlocks on the exterior doors to reduce heat loss, a new bathroom and a room which I've mentally claimed as my craft room, although it'll probably end up as a store. Hopefully we can get started on the build as the weather gets better in spring, although I'm not expecting to complete the build this year.

I'm hoping to start a local 'Gardening club'. The first meeting is in a couple of weeks time, so I need to plan how to get people along to that. It's going to be mainly a finding out what people want and see whether enough people are interested in a regular meet. I'm quite excited about seed and plant swaps, garden visits and work parties. Lots of other things become more viable as a community like seed saving, tool sharing, composting.....
 
pollinator
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Double down on what I did or problem solved in 2021:

Plant a type of green beans I love that has great flavor, is prolific, and is a very small bush type so doesn't take a lot of room or effort in training up. I also love that the beans are stringless and smooth--not a fan of some green beans that have short hairs on the green beans. In 2021 I bought short metal hoops and small hole mesh insect covers to keep out both kinds of cucumber beetles and the rest of the predators. Because of the shortness of the bean plants, was able to keep the bug cover on a long row for the entire growing season and only ever saw One leaf that was damaged on over 20 plants. SUCCESS!

I get them from Botanical Interests, one of my favorite and best producing seed company sources:
www.botanicalinterests.com/product/Ferrari-Bush-Bean-Seeds

Plant even more nasturtiums for the thousands of bees from two neighbor's boxes who came early and left late in the day--every day, even in the rain if they could--summer through the second frost.  Also used the flowers and tendrils as a nutritious and very pretty salad addition. Just the absolute joy of looking out my kitchen window and seeing mounds and mounds of rich oranges, yellows, magentas and other color blends was worth it to me if they didn't have any other value. Visitors who came to see my garden just had huge smiles on their faces at so much color. People in my area just seem to plant the same thing every year and rarely plant seasonal, or any, flowers. I'm a believer that flower power brings joy to the world!

Plant more celery for the butterflies. Originally planted more for the Monarchs last year after noticing several caterpillars munching away the previous year. Got a tiny bit of space in the corner of your garden? Throw in some celery seeds for those butterflies whose caterpillars thrive on celery leaves and stalks. Caterpillar in this photo is an Eastern Black Swallowtail so it didn't have to travel as far as the Monarchs do from Mexico to the east coast.

Will be volunteering at a brand new local annual community seed exchange in a few weeks. Sharing my limited supply of my favorite beans and my abundant supply of nasturtium seeds. It will be fun driving around in the summer to see if I've helped start a nasturtium movement!
IMG_1267.JPG
brilliant-nasturtiums-for-thousands-of-bees
my photo doesn't begin to show their brilliant intensity
IMG_1209.JPG
Eastern-Black-Swallowtail-caterpillar-on-tender-young-celery-stalk
3.5 inch long Eastern Black Swallowtail caterpillar on a tender young celery stalk
 
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I'm trying out strawbale gardening. I put the bales out at the start of December and they are getting nicely conditioned now. Arranged them into a raised bed shape and going to try and get a compost pile going in the middle.

Planted a living fence of hybrid willow this month, it's already coming into leaf so my main task with that will be protecting it from the deer.

Testing out several different varieties of amaranth: callaloo, Jacob's coat, Greek purple, giant orange. Maybe experimenting with hybridising.

Have divided my original three yacon plants into 21 - going to plant these out, hopefully for a mega harvest later this year.

Trying to grow oca outside. It's done very well in the greenhouse so far.

Going to try and grow hopniss (apois americana). I've got several tubers in pots, we'll see if they emerge

Maybe experiment with sweet potatoes or edible dahlias.

3rd year of landrace breeding cabbages/hybrid brassica.


 
pollinator
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If I were to explain everything, I'd honestly need about three ted talk as well as a few days.

What are my garden plan for 2022 ?

Short answer: yes

Long answer:

I want to follow the grow-biointensive method more seriously; also follow another method with companion planting in rows, as well as have a spot more dedicated to perennial and trying something more "permaculture-ish". Also a few freestyle spots, and lots, lots of containers for plants. And I also made a few tiny hugelkultur (it's also a great way to get rid of wood material when you have no car).

I plan to do watermelons, corn, artichoke (had the first last year, they were wonderful) carrots, lettuces, a lot of cabbages, two varieties of tomatoes, hot pepper, cold pepper, lettuces, spinach, cress and probably more veggies ; blackberries, blueberries, raspberries (had a few yellow and red one last season !), blackcurrant, goji; yellow and red cosmos, tagetes, celosias maybe, dahlias; astragalus, elder tree, strawberries, onions, garlic, white sage, chinese sage, houttuynia, eleutherococcus, jiaogulan, codonopsis, ashwagandha, nandina, borago, holy basil, unholy basil (well, the not-holy variety at least), artemisia annua, bidens pilosa, tribulus, coriander, chives, butternut squash, swwet dumpling squash, echinacea, rudbeckias, licorice, yunan licorice, gotu kola, rhodiola, kiwano, origano, monarda, leonurus, eschscholztia, parsley, scutellaria glabra, lanceolata and baicalensis, stevia, borago, patchouli, tobacco, angelica, sida cordifolia, three varieties of tobacco, tea (camellia sinensis)... I have a few others plants I forgot, didn't include, or already have growing somewhere (wormwood for instance). Oh and I forgot about wheat too. Might have a few potatoes, I planted some leftover ginger and also have some curcuma growing in pots (but I should probably dig up the roots by now). Ah and yes, I forgot about the vegetable sponge I want to have this year.

I might try growing again some reishi (I made about two liters of double extract, because I didn't realize that 300g of reishi would give me that much), and try again growing lion's mane and turkey tail. If I can try and grow cordyceps (the vegan-friendly version, if you know that mushroom) it will be awesome too. Shiitake will be on the menu too.

Basically the plan is, grow as much as possible of all of this, while improving the soil, learning, processing... There's also a few vegetables I want to have a mostly yearly access to them so I need to learn to grow them as the season goes on.

I want to grow more mulch and green manure; use the bocking 14 cornfrey I have more to improve soil. I will also use my bokashi as a soil generator to improve the beds, as my compost system doesn't seem to produce a lot.

I'll also try to use urine in a better fashion, if I can find some cheap organic mulch for some composting toilet it would be neat.

Growing in three dimension is also one of the project. In fact, I planned to have a few trellis so that codonopsis and jiaogulan can become huge, and so that some other cucurbitacea can also have some space.

So here is most of it. Every day is a struggle to not buy more seeds.
 
master gardener
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I'm trying really hard to have polycultures, but am running into issues about what the family will eat... sigh...
The will eat anything with tomato sauce, so despite the fact that they're a pain in my weather system, I will try to grow as many this year as last. My temporary deer fencing was enough to keep the deer mostly out of the tomato spaces.
My family will eat green beans - fresh or frozen. I planted bush beans in a raised bed for fresh eating and they did well in the main part of the summer, but not in the shoulder seasons. I planted pole beans and the bunnies got all but 2 - chopped them off at the bottom, so they didn't even regrow - and then the deer broke in and got the last 2. So my plan this year is to plant pole beans with better protection!
I would like to get a better potato bed going this year, but again, without deer protection, I have no hope. However, just writing this has given me an idea. The only trouble with the idea is that it's far beyond and up a hill from the hose, so it will have to mostly cope on its own.
There are two places I'd like to try planting wheat early - as in Feb. Winter wheat is common around here, but the last two times I've tried it, the falls have been so wet that it couldn't outgrow the slugs. Ideally I'll have some clover as a companion in my garden area, and my friend had soya beans in his area which I'd reseed if they didn't over-winter.
The pumpkin went down well, and the zucchini was tolerated if chopped fine, so we'll do more of that.
Mostly I'm trying to prepare areas for trees and shrubs. I will try to get a second goumi as apparently they produce better if cross pollinated. I've got several other trees that need permanent homes and there's a lot of Himalayan Blackberry that will have to leave if that's going to happen.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Jay Angler wrote:The will eat anything with tomato sauce, so despite the fact that they're a pain in my weather system, I will try to grow as many this year as last.



I feel your pain about tomatoes! I only try to grow cherry tomatoes, and some years we only get a week of tomatoes, if that, before the late blight hits. It's often mid-August when I start losing tomato plants to blight!

Jay Angler wrote:
I would like to get a better potato bed going this year, but again, without deer protection, I have no hope. However, just writing this has given me an idea. The only trouble with the idea is that it's far beyond and up a hill from the hose, so it will have to mostly cope on its own.



Interesting! I plant my potatoes all along the salmonberry hedge and forest edge. The deer continually walk there and forage there, and they've never touched my potato plants. I think your deer might be more hungry than mine! (My deer do eat my tomato plants, just not the potato plants. I also found that if I spun my hair into twine and wrapped my hair-twine around my tomato cages, the deer stopped eating them)
 
gardener
Posts: 1022
Location: Japan, roughly zone 9b - wet and warm climate
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My plan -

Plant seeds (especially ones I have saved)
Try to get a yield.
Eat them.
Save more seeds.

Also get more perennials established.

If I can be greedy I'm hoping to have more yields than this past year or two.
 
pioneer
Posts: 63
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Well, I told myself I wasn’t doing anything big this year so naturally I have an absurd amount of plans:

1- Get woodchip/mushroom compost going.

2- Plant into the herb spiral I built in the fall.

3- Grow enough food to put some noticiable dent in our grocery buying.
3a- Plant in polycultures (new this year!) in hope of building soil long term reducing pest impact, and improving pollination.
3b- Try a variety of zucchini (awful yields last year.

4- (Fingers crossed) get some passiflora going. My yard loves vines!
 
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I plan to build several Hugelkulturs.  I’ve got plenty of all the ingredients except the top soil layer.  So I guess I’m digging down to start the first layer and using that for the soil. Will cover it with wood chips and introduce wine caps to it by bringing mycelium over to them from my existing wine cap bed.

I want to add sulfur to acidify one for blueberries.

I also want to build a bed of partially composted horse manure to grow almond agaricus mushrooms.
 
gardener
Posts: 780
Location: Ontario - Currently in Zone 4b
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I very much agree with that cartoon!

2022 will have TULIPS.

I keep not buying pretty flowering things because I  am not going to live here forever. But last fall I decided buying a couple bags of tulips would make me happy in that grey and rainy period of spring where nothing much grows. So 2022 will have tulips.  Because tulips make me happy, and that is reason enough.  I can't recall what I bought, but there may also be crocuses, for the same reason.

Other than that, there may be raspberries since I tried to propagate some last year, and there will likely be many veggies, and some lilies I planted last year.
 
Posts: 20
Location: Zone 4a/5b, New Brunswick, Canada
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Last year was a building year, so this one is a growing year for me.

Major goal: produce double the food as last year. I really think this is doable as we added a lot of garden space last year, but weren't as efficient with it as we could have been. We also had some bad starts for plants, and a lot of cucumber and squash beetles wreaking havoc.

Minor goal: plant more perennials. We already ordered asparagus roots, and I'm hoping to get cuttings for elderberry, black current, and some Jerusalem artichokes from a local source.

Bonus goal: transplant beaked hazelnut in the fall. We have a native species that isn't an ideal eater due to some processing issues, but does well in our area. There are at least two places I've found along the access roads (unofficial atv trails) that the squirrels have been enjoying every year. I may as well plant some down by our red oak that's so generous to them already.

So looking forward to the growing season this year!
 
Posts: 20
Location: Oregon (Portland Metro) Zone 8B
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i'm exhausted.

so this year i'm not bothering with annuals/veg garden. If something self sows GREAT if not oh fucking well.i'm gonna throw a cover crop, maybe an annual flowers mix and chill out. i'm focusing on perennials this year. Filling out my tiny "food forest", adding more flowers, more vines, building structures and mulching.
 
Mike Lafay
pollinator
Posts: 169
Location: France, 8b zone
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Perennials are a must. Among the tons of plants I'm growing, quite a few are perennials, so hopefully once they're sown, that's more time and energy for annuals or for something else.
 
Posts: 69
Location: Southwestern NM
34
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I LOVE the cartoon!  It's perfect!

I always plan to do more than I ever accomplish, but looking back, my yard has come a LONG way since I started learning about permaculture a couple of years ago!

This year, I have a ton of trees and bushes coming in the spring, and it's going to take a lot of planting, but I'm soooo excited! I may have gotten a touch carried away and gone off the "master plan" with a tree or two that I'll need to sneak into my space somewhere.

I will be planting a hedgerow and trying to stabilize a bank and one side of the house where we have erosion problems.  There's new construction next door to us where it has always been open desert until now, so suddenly we'll have a lot less privacy, not as pretty views,  and a destabilized slope where they've been bulldozing a little too close for comfort. Hence the hedgerow. This is an area that has needed attention for a while, but I've just been throwing prickly pear pads on it to form a barrier against fire.  Now it's getting the full treatment.  I plan on getting some vetiver, which I just read about and am really excited about to help with the erosion.

I will also be terracing the side of the house where we have some bad erosion, and taking other measures to correct the problem (fixing drainage off roof corner).  I'm excited that the terracing might end up being really pretty, and that it will reclaim a piece of land that is right now pretty unusable.

I'd like to put in some kind of fence (wattle,maybe?) between the front and back yards. My chickens spent most of their first summer foraging happily in the back yard and never wandering off, but in the fall they must have gotten a whiff of the apple trees across the street, because one day they decided to go adventuring.  Now I can't let them out unless I'm right there with them because they like to wander.  A fence would probably help a lot!

I am trying to propagate everything, lazily. Taking hardwood cuttings and sticking them in the dirt.  Hoping that some will grow. I want to try air layering and I need to do more simple layering as well.  I never used my rosemary plant for much until I recently discovered rosemary tea, and now I definitely need more, which is OK because it grows really well here with zero care.

On that note,  I need to figure out a good site for a nursery bed and start converting it.

I'm also determined to get at least one nectarine tree to grow from seed and survive.

I need to get more nitrogen fixers into my plan.  I really thought mesquite was the way to go here,  since they're local, but I've had bad luck starting them. In pots, they die when transplanted because their taproot is so fragile. Starting seeds outdoors, they get eaten, or fried by the sun.  I'll keep trying,  but I'm also trying siberian pea shrub, Leucaena, more lupine, alfalfa...

Grow tomatoes! Loads of tomatoes. Last year most of my  seedlings bit the dust when we got a new high-maintenence puppy (like having a new baby, but vicious and with sharp teeth). Now that he's less of a gremlin, I'm expecting some tomatoes, dammit!

Somehow convince my hens to use their nesting boxes???  They don't like the 5 gallon bucket boxes I built into their coop, so if I get ambitious, I may replace them with something wooden.

Continue to build my soil. Expand the worm bin. Chop and drop more. Expand my trench composting system because, wow, it worked (hard to compost here because it's so dry)!

Expand my swales and water harvesting with more basins. Maybe some gabions.

Learn to make biochar.

Save my seeds properly this time.

If COVID allows, get involved with local permaculture through volunteering.

Take time to stop and smell the flowers! Reflect on progress and all the many things I'm grateful for.  And probably move half of these things to next year's list!
 
Jay Angler
master gardener
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Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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Trish Doherty wrote:

Somehow convince my hens to use their nesting boxes???  They don't like the 5 gallon bucket boxes I built into their coop, so if I get ambitious, I may replace them with something wooden.

I've seen many pictures of "bucket" nest boxes, and I've never had chickens choose them over alternatives. Our production flocks are in bottomless portable shelters with hanging nest boxes which I make out of plywood because I needed them super light. Our Miscellaneous chickens and our Muscovy ducks like 1/4 barrel nest boxes with a wooden front that I made that just sit on the ground. Go for deep and dark and easy to clean (the backs come off the hanging ones by just undoing some screws, and the 1/4 barrel ones just get flipped over and sprayed.

And wrote:

My chickens spent most of their first summer foraging happily in the back yard and never wandering off, but in the fall they must have gotten a whiff of the apple trees across the street, because one day they decided to go adventuring.  Now I can't let them out unless I'm right there with them because they like to wander.

I suspect they've eaten all the bugs in the back-yard, so they're doing what chickens do - going hunting. Depending on the size/shape of your yard, if you can, create multiple paddocks (4 minimum, 6 or more are better) so that they concentrate on one, while letting the bugs build up in the others before moving them around the rotation. Creating bug-friendly habitat - like the compost trenches you mention - will help a lot. I haven't got there with any of my chickens yet, as they need high fencing, but I use 4 sets of 30" high dog exercise pens to rotate an older group of 9 noisy ducks (Khaki Campbells) and their pet chicken around a grassed area. At this time of year, I can get about 12 moves of 3 days each before they're back to the beginning. When it's not monsoon season, I get more like 12 moves as they can go through areas that are just too wet right now. The chicken is capable of leaving, but she considers the ducks her "flock" and sticks with them!  I got this book from the library - Free-range chicken gardens : how to create a beautiful, chicken-friendly yard / Jessi Bloom and there's a good list of plants that chickens like to forage from which also might help (although they're really more insectivores than herbivores when they have a choice from my observations!) My long term plan is to have paddocks set up around trees that I'm planting, and moving at least our older chickens to that area. We have a lot of flying predators. Trees aren't enough help if raptors decide chickens are yummy. I think I'll need to design in some tunnel-shaped trellises to help the chickens evade trouble.
 
Trish Doherty
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Location: Southwestern NM
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Jay Angler wrote:Trish Doherty wrote:

Somehow convince my hens to use their nesting boxes???  They don't like the 5 gallon bucket boxes I built into their coop, so if I get ambitious, I may replace them with something wooden.

I've seen many pictures of "bucket" nest boxes, and I've never had chickens choose them over alternatives. Our production flocks are in bottomless portable shelters with hanging nest boxes which I make out of plywood because I needed them super light. Our Miscellaneous chickens and our Muscovy ducks like 1/4 barrel nest boxes with a wooden front that I made that just sit on the ground. Go for deep and dark and easy to clean (the backs come off the hanging ones by just undoing some screws, and the 1/4 barrel ones just get flipped over and sprayed.

And wrote:

My chickens spent most of their first summer foraging happily in the back yard and never wandering off, but in the fall they must have gotten a whiff of the apple trees across the street, because one day they decided to go adventuring.  Now I can't let them out unless I'm right there with them because they like to wander.

I suspect they've eaten all the bugs in the back-yard, so they're doing what chickens do - going hunting. Depending on the size/shape of your yard, if you can, create multiple paddocks (4 minimum, 6 or more are better) so that they concentrate on one, while letting the bugs build up in the others before moving them around the rotation. Creating bug-friendly habitat - like the compost trenches you mention - will help a lot. I haven't got there with any of my chickens yet, as they need high fencing, but I use 4 sets of 30" high dog exercise pens to rotate an older group of 9 noisy ducks (Khaki Campbells) and their pet chicken around a grassed area. At this time of year, I can get about 12 moves of 3 days each before they're back to the beginning. When it's not monsoon season, I get more like 12 moves as they can go through areas that are just too wet right now. The chicken is capable of leaving, but she considers the ducks her "flock" and sticks with them!  I got this book from the library - Free-range chicken gardens : how to create a beautiful, chicken-friendly yard / Jessi Bloom and there's a good list of plants that chickens like to forage from which also might help (although they're really more insectivores than herbivores when they have a choice from my observations!) My long term plan is to have paddocks set up around trees that I'm planting, and moving at least our older chickens to that area. We have a lot of flying predators. Trees aren't enough help if raptors decide chickens are yummy. I think I'll need to design in some tunnel-shaped trellises to help the chickens evade trouble.



Yeah, the chickens just aren't having the buckets. They like it underneath the buckets, which is fine except that it's not quite so convenient for me to go around the other side of the coop to open the big door and collect the eggs.  Of course, it's kind of fun to go this route because the girls usually come in to visit with me!  I am definitely going to try to get to this project if I can.

I did notice that the chicken adventuring coincided with fall and far less plant growth to forage in, but I hadn't made the bug connection.  That makes a lot of sense.  I made sure to leave a lot of habitat in my yard, but it's cold and all the bugs are hibernating, it seems.  I don't have a huge yard.  Just a typical small lot in town.  We do have a fenced in portion of our back yard which contains the garden, and I sometimes let the chickens in there for a bit to forage. They love digging for bugs in there, but they've made quite the mess of it,  including digging up things I'd rather not be dug up.  I could probably devise a way of making some of the rest of the yard into paddocks. I like the idea, aesthetically, of garden rooms, and maybe it could be made functional and pretty at the same time. You've definitively given me some ideas to chew on.   I also like the idea of cover from raptors, and I'll work that into my design for sure!
 
Posts: 57
Location: Meriden, NH
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Last Fall I finally got around to doing good soil tests on my garden beds.  I couldn't figure out what was wrong with my soil returns were definitely diminishing and some plants did not thrive that used to.  I found out I have no Molybdenum, which is essential for the nitrogen cycle.  My organic mater is 6% which is pretty good.  I've learned a lot about soil chemistry and balancing different elements.  I can't wait to see what happens to my usual plantings and yields.  

I'll keep adding to the plantings on my berm/swale system.  I just went out for a cross country ski today and based on the tracks, I think deer were sampling every fruit tree I had.  Hmmm, some kind of prickly living fence is in order this year.  I also am going to try some rock formations on the North (cold dark side) of the trees to provider some wind protection and thermal mass.  Rock supply is more than adequate here.  

Since I won't be around a lot, I'm going to plants more grain crops I've been wanting to try, like spring wheat.  We have a good short season drying corn available and maybe some Barley.  I'll be cutting pole wood to put up the deer fencing for the gardens this year.  No dogs means the deer have become very bold.  I vote for more Nasturtiums too.  I want to try some pesto made from it and they do have beautiful flowers till it freezes.
 
Posts: 21
Location: Northern Virginia (NOVA), Washington DC Suburb, Zone 7B
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Nicole Alderman wrote:

sew seeds 2022


What new projects are you working on to make 2022 better?

What new plants are you trying out to enjoy this year?

Any new techniques you'll be trying?

Or maybe you're just sticking to the tried & true for a nice feeling of consistency in a crazy world!



Lots of plans for 2022.  Installed some new hugel beds

https://permies.com/t/167602/clay-hugel-bed

And focused on transition from conventional to organic/permaculture practices.

https://permies.com/t/173125/transition-Conventional-Permaculture-Organic-Practices

Primary focus is to grow good soil!

Hugel beds are new for me.  So I am looking forward to seeing how they perform.  I have added so much organic matter “soil” to these beds I’m not sure how they will perform.  I want to wait a bit before I do a soil test just to let things settle a bit.  Good increase in worm activity so I am moving in the right direction.

2022 will be my second year for organic garlic.  I got about 40 bulbs this past season using planting  garlic I got from my father in law that  he has been growing for years.  The bulbs I harvested were a bit small.  This year I ordered bulbs and have about 4 hard neck varieties in the ground - about 150 bulbs.  I planted them earlier hoping to get larger bulbs this year.  I can’t believe I never planted garlic before fall 2020!  Now I need to get varieties and soil dialed in so I can increase yield.

I also put garlic in various areas so they can serve as companion plants.  Also planted onions and potatoes this fall. Never had luck with potatoes so am hopeful.

In 2022 I hope to have success with carrots (no luck for the past two years) squash, melons, and bell peppers.  None of these have done real well for me.

And my fav - tomatoes.  Always pretty good success but now focusing on variety and determinant vs indeterminate.

I will also try some succession planting, perhaps beans/peas early, kale and cabbage late.  Also plan to put daikon radish in any open spot starting late Aug/early sep hoping to break up clay.

Also doing deep wood chips in paths around my beds.  Plan to break soil in the paths with a broad fork once or twice over the season.  Intent is to improve clay over time to hold more water in the area.

Also piled a bunch of leaves on top of card board where I will start to prep soil for a future bed for tbd.  No firm plans yet, but the ground is hard clay soil so I will layer organic matter lasagna style so the worms can get busy.  Don’t think I will plant here but will consider what else I can add.  Probably composted manure I have ready access to and wood chip, both free to me!.

Finally - I installed a ~70 foot raspberry bed in spring 2021.  They did not perform well.  I added 2” of composted manure and chopped leaf mulch this fall.  Hoping to see some improvement this season.  These plants may have wet feet.  If I continue to add layers of organic matter on this bed, will new canes/roots “find” the right depth to get out of wet soil? Any ideas on companion plants for raspberries?  More garlic?  Maybe ginger?  

Lots of rambling thoughts here.  Hope you all are having as much fun as I am looking forward to spring!
 
Posts: 56
Location: Zone 9a, foothills California, 2500 ft elevation
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Was tempted to give up because last summer was so stressful with10 weeks high temperatures (around 100 where 95 would be more the norm), an extra month with no rain, and the threat of wildfires. On the plus side, the smoke from fires elsewhere did not come our way very often, unlike in 2020. Some fruit trees and the summer veggies went dormant until September but then I had fairly good production, so that was at least something. I was intending to plan this year's garden starting in November, but we had a foot of rain overnight end October that highlighted drainage issues that needed to be addressed, followed by a big dump of snow right after Christmas, which downed or damaged about 20 drought stressed trees on our property. Just learned how to use a chainsaw and I'm in my 60s - it's electric and works like a charm - we'll have firewood for years to come...

Since observation is the number one permaculture principle that drives everything else, I am trying to apply that to the changing weather conditions. When I bought fruit trees from our local nursery in 2019, our zone was listed as 9b and then in 2021, our zone became 9a. Figured I probably need to get started a couple of weeks earlier with seeding cool weather crops and planting summer seeds indoors, so will try that - and then provide support with row cover for frosty nights.

One plan I had hoped to carry out was retaining and storing more water. In 2020, we created 3000 gallons of water storage for firefighting by digging down into the floor of an outbuilding that had a dirt floor and then shoring up the sides and getting a liner and solar cover. It doubles as a plunge pool - hubby set up a hot water panel to warm the water up since it is shaded by the roof. Hubby also figured out how to adapt the pool pump so we could attach a fire hose, if need be. I had hoped to get at least one or more two such storage containers set up by this spring to collect rainwater for irrigation, but we are still working on metallizing the last quarter section roof of our house so we can continue getting fire insurance, along with fixing gouges in the floors. In the meantime, I dug two mini retention ponds above one of our hundred+-year-old pear trees, and also added a drainage ditch to divert runoff to those pondlets from the driveway. I also dug one above the other pear tree, which was severely hit by fire blight last spring. Tried to prune most of it out, which has meant topping the tree and cutting more than 25% - am leaving in the watersprouts to help the tree recover.

We have plans to move a small fig tree into the orchard area, and I just planted a bare root jujube (came 10 feet tall!). Just sowed fava beans and will be putting peas and sweet peas in by next week. Also got some tree collard cuttings in the mail and have them inside in soil to get them going in an attempt to have a perennial green.Haven't had luck with asparagus or artichoke as yet. Not necessarily seen as perennial, but several broccoli plants that I put in the ground last April are still going strong, putting out side shoots - despite vole tunnels, they have grown pretty big, and I think because I mulched them really well they made it through the heat - I barely watered them - my kind of plant! Also cultivating a happy looking eggplant start on our kitchen windowsill (faces east) for the second year in a row - planted last year's out and it did produce one eggplant.

Other plans - grow just about everything from seed like I did last year - using a grow light and/or a cold frame; try out a few winter squash seeds that may be crosses; finish up the drip irrigation to include the fruit trees; add hardware cloth to 3 existing beds and dig up to 3 new beds; plant out crepe myrtle shoots to see if they take; create a garden shed out of an old goat barn; start digging a wofati greenhouse; create faster compost piles and easier to use mulch from raking grass clippings rather than cutting long grass by hand and grinding up oak leaves for compost; seeing if someone locally wants to come and join in the fun by offering space for them to garden...
 
Posts: 121
Location: Ohio
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My plans for 2022 are all about planning for success.

We have a local farmers market I'd like to sell at this year and the past few years have been a struggle in more ways than one. So I'm growing everything I think I can grow with as little maintenance as possible and very few new things. This is a get back on track year. "On track" always has some new things but not most.

So I'm excited to be looking forward to big harvests and lots and lots of extras!

The things we are doing "new" this year include trying to grow shallots for the first time, getting good at potato boxes, trying short season watermelons in a hoop house, and trying out a couple new hybrids (which we usually shy away from) to solve some under-preforming vegetables in our past.

Things we are growing for consistency this year; Canning tomatoes, radishes, pole beans, zucchini, our favorite winter squash, lettuce, hot peppers and plenty of herbs!
 
Posts: 85
Location: Ozark Border
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I always love reading these threads, seeing what others are working on for the upcoming year.

My biggest task will setting out the black plastic and hopefully burning out some tomato blight that established last season.  The garden space should be big enough I can plant tomatoes elsewhere this season.  Last year I tried Eva Purple Ball tomato seeds I purchased from Southern Exposure and they were great, pretty disease resistant.  I'm trying a couple new (to me) varieties, a couple of which are also advertised as blight resistant.  

Trying artichokes again this year.  Had six seedlings, late season frost got four of them.  Tree feel along the back fence and took out the remaining two.  

Putting up a bean arch that'll hopefully cast enough shade I can keep growing lettuce, fennel, cilantro and some other cooler season stuff later in to May.

Resisting the urge to plant ANY squash until the last half of the season.  You'd think after three years of failure I'd have learned my lesson, but I figured the addition of chickens would help manage squash bugs.  (My) chickens don't like squash bugs.  

Other than that, just moving some things that'll do better elsewhere.  There's a better place for rhubarb now that I've redone the chicken coop.  Sweet potatoes and cowpeas can be moved to areas that reflect the fact they don't need too much attention.  
 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 3218
Location: Gulf of Mexico cajun zone 8
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This year I'm going to do a practice run for the million calorie BB. Maybe even the 4 million calorie BB. Won't qualify this year because I have several large piles of goat manure staged there that were sourced too far away from the garden. I took over this garden last year late in the planting season. Constant heavy rain with heavy clay soil didn't help. It still produced a lot of food but it could have been much more. The garden is big enough but the soil needs some major improvement so that's my primary goal this year.

Technically the spring garden started last fall. When I planted cover crops I also tossed several pounds of wildflower seeds all around the perimeter. Some beehives are nearby. The garden is now full of daikon radish, onion, garlic, brassicas, turnips, kales, collards, various winter legumes, some hairy vetch, mustards, & probably a few other things I'm forgetting. Those were planted mainly as cover crops but we've been eating them too! A month or two ago I planted some horseradish & Jerusalem Artichokes. Hoping those 2 hang around forever.

Weeds were a major problem last year. Ever since the leaves started dropping last fall I've been gathering truckloads of them to use as mulch. A big pile of them is composting too. The soil building is a work in progress. The garden has a slope & the downhill side stays too soggy during rainy periods. Soon I'll start burying wood to make some mini hugel mounds for squash & melons there. I want them to help smother weeds. Going to use buckwheat for that too. Can't find buckwheat here & shipping it is too expensive so I'm going to use my saved buckwheat seeds & aggressively grow that to collect enough seeds to use it as a thick cover crop next fall. It's good for the soil & good for the bees.

What will be planted this spring? A wide variety of the basic stuff that I've always grown & saved seeds from. Squashes, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, melons, beans, greens, okra, corn, asparagus, buckwheat, etc. I also have various stray seeds from Joseph & a stranded pack of squash from the seed giveaway last year. Plus a few new things I bought like rat's tail radish. Always like to try new things. To officially qualify for the BB next year I want to grow & save some potatoes & sweet potatoes this year. Same for peanuts. My intention is to throw everything I have at it this year & see what wants to thrive here & what doesn't.

And then there's a giant hugel or two to build. It's always something:)
 
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I am starting a new planting bed- I have to make it a raised bed because of extreme copper in the soil- two layers of weed cloth under the beds- but the area is the best in the yard. I plan to use palletts for the raised beds and put mostly greens and squash there. I will plant less kale and more tomatoes and more herbs -both cooking and medicinal. And more flowers everywhere-can't have too many.



 
Jay Angler
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j flynn wrote:I am starting a new planting bed- I have to make it a raised bed because of extreme copper in the soil- two layers of weed cloth under the beds- but the area is the best in the yard. I plan to use palletts for the raised beds and put mostly greens and squash there. I will plant less kale and more tomatoes and more herbs -both cooking and medicinal. And more flowers everywhere-can't have too many.

Are you looking for ways to help your soil? I've read a couple of books directly and indirectly talking about "phytoremediation" where plants that are known to absorb and concentrate certain chemicals, are grown and then sequestered (landfill, sometimes burned etc). A quick search turned up this quote: "Tomato storage Cu mainly in fruits and roots which show a remarkable concentration of Cu that increases progressively with the increase of Cu concentration in the soil. In addition, the roots of common bean and ricinus showed a very high concentration of Cu." https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653518323397

If you want ideas and help with this issue, feel free to start a new thread on the topic, and I'm sure you'll get ideas from people who've dealt with same or similar problems.
 
C Mouse
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Tom Worley wrote:I always love reading these threads, seeing what others are working on for the upcoming year.

My biggest task will setting out the black plastic and hopefully burning out some tomato blight that established last season.  The garden space should be big enough I can plant tomatoes elsewhere this season.  Last year I tried Eva Purple Ball tomato seeds I purchased from Southern Exposure and they were great, pretty disease resistant.  I'm trying a couple new (to me) varieties, a couple of which are also advertised as blight resistant.  



Blight has been a big problem for me too. The best solution I've found, unfortunately, has been switching to plum regal paste tomatoes, then Legend and Defiant for slicers. They're pricey hybrid seeds but they work really well.
 
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I am redoing my yard to be more drought tolerant in the high desert but want to make a new lasagna garden and buy a green house for temporary to put over the lasagna and plant food. I used to have flowers only.
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