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Vegetable Gardening: Veggie plans for 2014

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jmc1987

jmc1987
Cascade, VA
(Zone 7a)

December 7, 2013
9:02 PM

Post #9723611

One DG member started a post like this in the tomatoes forum, so heck, why not start one here? LOL! Lets see what we all have planned for our entire veggie garden, not just the toms. ;)

For me, it will be the following:

Carrots:
Black Knight
Purple Haze

Cucumber:
Lemon

Potatoes:
Purple Peruvian
Russet
Red (still debating on this one)

Corn:
Glass gem (just for the heck of seeing how it does)

Lettuce:
Red Sails

And last but not least, the tomatoes:
Green Zebra
Pink German Johnson
Great White,
Paul Robeson
Better Boy
And a package of bonus gift seeds labled "Pomodoro Marmande"

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

December 8, 2013
8:55 AM

Post #9723843

We have some new ground this coming season. It's been corn/soybean land for many years. Given this extra room, we are going to grow some things we quit because of lack of space.
Adding, this year, Eggplant, Bon-Bon squash from Johnny's, Gourds of all descriptions, small pumpkins, & more tomatoes.
Going to try a couple rows of standard tomatoes on Red Plastic Mulch. Will plant the tomatoes 24" apart in the row & stake them somehow. That has not been decided yet.
We are going to try Sugar pod peas on a fence. This is new to us.
We have another high tuinnel now, so will try some things in there. For sure are
Baby Beets from Johnny's.
Early kohlrabi, cauliflower & broccoli.
A new carrot that was terrific last for us. Called Negovia from High Mowing Seeds.
We will have about 7½ acres altogether this year. Plenty of room to try new seeds & ideas.
Bernie
Check my web site; www.countrygardensmn.com

jmc1987

jmc1987
Cascade, VA
(Zone 7a)

December 8, 2013
10:36 AM

Post #9723934

i tried my hand at broccoli this year, but i evidently planted too late, as the winter weather put a big hurtin' on them before they could even form heads, but hey, at least the leaves are edible also, and made for a good pan fried "salad", lol.
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 9, 2013
10:41 AM

Post #9724621

I used to make my own pickles but once we moved here to Texas I got away from it. Been working too many long hours. I've tried growing cucumbers down here a couple of times and seem to have missed the mark somehow. But last year I did pretty well so I'm going to try for enough to make some pickles again in '14. I always used to grow Parisian Pickling and Rhinish Pickle so I'll try those and probably add National Pickling just to have three and see which one grows best for me here in Texas. I used to grow Homemade Pickles up north, but that one doesn't seem to like me down here in the south. I'm excited to learn something new for my Southern garden.

Being a fool for green beans I'm trying Landreth's Stringless and Riggins Stick Pole this coming year.

So far I think that is all the new-to-me seeds besides the tomatoes, which will probably be Grandma's Pick, Purple Bumblebee, Louisiana All Season, and Glovel Tomato.

I love seeing what you all are trying out for next year!

brownthumb78
Belleair, FL
(Zone 10a)

December 15, 2013
5:16 PM

Post #9728691

I'm trying for chocolate habanero peppers. I tried last year & the plants grew but then just kind of stalled out :( I'm also trying sugar dot & silver queen corn, danvers carrots, buttercup squash, sugar snap peas, kentucky wonder beans, butternut & spaghetti squash, & trying chayote squash for the first time. I've also added alot of new herbs. I started with oregano, purple basil, 2 other types of basil (who's names I can't recall), rosemary, chives, & thyme. Now I've added fennel, dill, chamomile, spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, & cilantro. I've had alot of luck with all my greens, brocolli, cauliflower, tomatoes, sweet potatoes & all my peppers so far for my winter garden so hopefully '14 will be awesome. Good luck everyone!
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

December 18, 2013
8:36 AM

Post #9730166

Corn: Seven plantings...Ambrosia, Incredible, and a new bicolor.
Lima beans: Fordhook 242...yummm
Tomatoes: Big Beef, Mortgage Lifter, Pink Girl, Sun Gold, Juliet
Pepper: Sweet bells
Broccoli: Imperial and Emerald Crown
Cauliflower: Symphony and Snow Crown
Sweetpotatoes: O'Henry
Potatoes: Kennebec and Red Pontiac
Peanuts: Valencia
Lettuce: Skyphos
Peas: Super Sugar Snap and a bush snap
Onions: Candy
Squash: butternut and acorn
Watermelons: Sangria, Raspa, Yellow Crimson, and Cooperstown
Cantaloupe: Sugar Queen, Goddess, and Burpee Early Crenshaw
Carrots: Nevis, Nelson. and Achieve
Beets: Kesterol
Strawberries: Earlyglow, Mesabi, and Jewel
Blackberries: Doyle, Triplecrown, and Kiowa


drdawg43
Starkville, MS
(Zone 8a)

December 18, 2013
9:15 AM

Post #9730178

Lots of good-looking veggies. You must have an awful lot of space.
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

December 18, 2013
10:10 AM

Post #9730201

I have about 8,000 sq. ft. in three gardens. Most of the varieties I plant are solid and delicious performers...been gardening since the '40s.

Since I retired, I have amended most of my good silty clay loam with generous amounts of local peat, medium/coarse sand, and much organic additions. I just love the results.
drdawg43
Starkville, MS
(Zone 8a)

December 18, 2013
10:36 AM

Post #9730210

You know what you are doing and the results show it. Holy cow - 8,000 sf!

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

December 18, 2013
2:06 PM

Post #9730281

My seed list is 125 lines on a spread sheet. So I won't list them all.
26 hot peppers.
30 tomatoes.
7 acres this year. A neighbor gave us a couple acres to use this year.
These are some shots of 2013 garden.
1-Inside a high tunnel with our diligent helper.
2-Watermelons.
3-Cabbage patch for people that ordered in spring for kraut.
4-Zucchini & summer squash.
5-Onions in front & far right. Carrots beyond the onions.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens   Thumbnail by CountryGardens   Thumbnail by CountryGardens   Thumbnail by CountryGardens   Thumbnail by CountryGardens
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Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

December 19, 2013
8:11 AM

Post #9730627

Bernie, You have been raising melons quite a while. I have been and can raise some excellent ones, but have to keep finding new places because of disease [mostly types of wilt]. How do you manage? Don't you have any problems with your plantings on the same area?

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

December 19, 2013
8:53 AM

Post #9730651

We rotate around as much as possible. Try to get 2 years of something else in between melons.
Our problem is all of them ripe at one time, even with different planting dates of the same melons.
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

December 19, 2013
12:23 PM

Post #9730748

Bernie, Where my melons are really healthy, I may get a second set [almost a third].

Still, I have had heartbreaking cases of wilt and sudden vine decline in the home gardens after a couple or three years. Oh yes, they start beautifully until fruit in nearly ripe..
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 19, 2013
1:11 PM

Post #9730774

What, the cabbage patch wasn't for the new baby orders???? LOL!

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 29, 2013
5:17 PM

Post #9736515

Terri, you have to plant cukes early to be successful. I grow 2 crops a year, one in spring and one in fall.

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 29, 2013
5:27 PM

Post #9736518

Since I have seeds left from last year, I'll probably just plant those. Gotta get the maters started soon! New Year's Day is this week and that's usually when I start them. I also need to order my onions.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

December 30, 2013
6:14 AM

Post #9736751

I'm already 10 days BEHIND on my tomato seed starting, and haven't put those onions in yet. Have had them since November. Waaaaaaaaaay behind.

May need to order again...

Shoot!

Put out four (4) flats of seedlings to harden off last night. Broccoli, cabbages, beets, mustard and turnip greens, and Oregon Sugar Snap peas. Have to transplant this Saturday.

Put up 7 pints of spiced, pickled beets over the weekend. Trying to hold off until Friday before opening at least one jar, LOL! My first attempt. Want those delicious spices to permeate all the beets!

And, it's not even January 1st, yet, LOL!

^^_^^

jmc1987

jmc1987
Cascade, VA
(Zone 7a)

December 30, 2013
9:55 AM

Post #9736903

yeah you bunch of lucky buggers, LOL, i still have a couple of months yet before indoor seed sowing time

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

December 30, 2013
9:56 AM

Post #9736905

You must remember TX can't grow anything in normal summer months.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

December 30, 2013
11:54 AM

Post #9736953

yes, we can...

we can start our FALL seedlings indoors, LOL!

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 30, 2013
12:08 PM

Post #9736964

Linda!! I've been wondering when you were going to start the Spring veggie thread. LOL

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

December 30, 2013
1:35 PM

Post #9737021

LOL! ^^_^^

Girl,
I'm still trying to catch up to the winter garden! Soon as I get all those seedlings planted out this weekend, I'll start the spring garden thread. And, prayerfully by then, I'll have PICTURES of what's growing for spring, LOL! Actually, this is the latest I've EVER put things out, but, I'm actually excited about the thought of harvesting this as the garden segues into March & April.

I've even MORE excited that it might still be cold enough for cranking up the heat to can the greens and veggies! I did spiced beets for the first time this past weekend. Can't wait to taste them!

P.S. About to start Ozark's new F5 "Sweet Ozark Orange" tomatoes. I promised him a pictorial from start to finish. He's spread some seeds around with some DGers, to trial the stability and document the harvests.

Should be an exciting trial!

Hugs!

jmc1987

jmc1987
Cascade, VA
(Zone 7a)

December 30, 2013
2:04 PM

Post #9737047

oh yeah i get what youre saying exactly CG

I spent a summer with a dear friend down by Houston a couple of years ago, and the heat actually caught me by surprise. I was outside organizing some things, and the heat started to get me winded and weak much more quickly than i usually do, so i learned my lesson there. ;)

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

December 30, 2013
3:46 PM

Post #9737088

We will have a day or two of 100+ degrees with high humidity, but it don't kill us. We cope!

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 30, 2013
5:05 PM

Post #9737117

I'm trying to decide what kind of pole beans I want to grow. Any suggestions?

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

December 31, 2013
6:26 AM

Post #9737391

Ones that climb up a pole, LOL? ^^_^^

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 31, 2013
9:32 AM

Post #9737501

You're so helpful, Linda! LOL I'm looking at either Blue Lake pole beans, which we've grown before, Purple Podded Pole beans (we grew purple bush beans last year and they were good), Henderson's Black Valentine Bean, or McCaslan 42.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

December 31, 2013
9:34 AM

Post #9737502

Ok. I've heard very good overall reviews about the Blue Lakes!

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 31, 2013
9:45 AM

Post #9737505

We've grown them previously and they did very well, were productive, and tasted great. Just don't want to grow bush beans as they take up too much real estate. I also need to order my onion plants.

Are you going to grow potatoes this year?

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

December 31, 2013
9:57 AM

Post #9737508

No, I decided the return on the potatoes wasn't worth the investment of real estate.

I had to place a second onion order from Dixondale, just yesterday. I'm afraid the original order I received in November has just about dried up. I've waited too long to plant that batch out, so, oh well...I'd rather start over with a fresh batch of healthy plants to ensure a good harvest. They should arrive around January 10th, so I'll still be on track with the very 1st season I ever planted onions.

Although, getting them in in November would've been the ideal.

Shoot!

Steph,
Are Blue Lake pole beans like green beans in a can? I'm dying to grow green beans and peas, both of which have eluded me... I did grow some Kentucky Wonder green beans last year, in seven self-watering eBuckets. I was surprised they grew sitting on the edge of my patio, under the cover. I got a couple gallon bags of beans still in the freezer.

When will you plant out your pole beans? I
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

December 31, 2013
12:08 PM

Post #9737590

You all might want to check out either Fortex or Emerite pole beans. They are a filet type bean. I used to grow only filet beans as bush beans until I discovered these. Now my and my husband's backs thank us and the beans produce non-stop until frost unlike the bush varieties as long as one keeps picking them. There is also a yellow filet pole bean variety, French Gold. Both Emerite and French Gold can be bought at Renee's Seeds along with Blue Lake. http://www.reneesgarden.com/seeds/seeds-hm/vegB.htm#bean

Fedco has Fortex as do many other companies. Last year I bought Blue Coco for fun from Fedco and that is delicious as well.
http://www.fedcoseeds.com/seeds/search.php?page=1&totalRows=1012
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 31, 2013
2:50 PM

Post #9737655

Gymgirl ~ next time your onions arrive early, 'heel' them in. Just tuck the bulbs into some loosened soil until you can get them separated and planted. That works for many types of plants, not just bulbs.

Sounds like you girls both need more 'real estate'!
Happy New Gardening Year to all...

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 31, 2013
3:17 PM

Post #9737669

I've considered Fortex. They do look promising.

Linda, I prefer the Blue Lake over the KY Wonder. Blue Lake is a round bean pod and the KY Wonder is more wider and flatter. The Blue Lakes are also less stringy.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 2, 2014
8:30 AM

Post #9738715

Thanks, Pod!

Thanks, Steph!

My seedlings have been out for a couple days now, and there's sunshine today, whoo hoo!

Transplanting Saturday.

Starting tomatoes and bell peppers this evening...already two weeks behind schedule...shoot.
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 3, 2014
10:24 AM

Post #9739397

I should be planting out my onions this weekend. Was going to do it New Year's Day as I usually do; but the cold, cold wind chased me back inside =(.

I love pole beans. I've had good luck with Fortex and Emerite. Also, I've had good luck with Super Marconi Roma pole bean and Trionfo Violetto, a purple bean.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

January 4, 2014
11:44 AM

Post #9740071

Another vote for Fortex. The last time I planted them many of the beans were hollow so I tried a different variety this past summer, and I'm going back to Fortex this year. Nothing tastes as good!
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 4, 2014
4:13 PM

Post #9740213

Don't remember having a problem with the Fortex being hollow. They can get quite long really fast if I don't watch them so maybe that would make them more hollow. My husband says he prefers the Emerites, which are very similar, so I will be growing those this summer along with Blue Coco (purple which turn green when cooked) and French Gold. Actually I prefer the yellow Ramdor but they are hard to come by in the States. I have to order them from Solana Seeds in Canada. http://solanaseeds.netfirms.com/welcome.html

Renee's seeds used to offer them in a mixed packet with Emerite but no longer (now she offers the Emerites and French Golds as separate packets) so I switched to the French Gold. They are very good too so it's fine.

This message was edited Jan 5, 2014 2:21 AM

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 4, 2014
5:06 PM

Post #9740250

We grew Royal Burgundy bush beans last year. They were really tasty, but took up too much space in my garden.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

January 4, 2014
6:42 PM

Post #9740293

Gardadore, that was the first time I had that problem with Fortex, and a friend mentioned that the beans she bought at her local farm market had the same problem. Might have been a transitory virus affecting legumes in our area. I did try Emerite once but don't remember being as impressed by them.
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 4, 2014
10:16 PM

Post #9740441

I don't find that there is such a great difference between the Fortex and Emerite although I think the Fortex is more robust and grows large very fast. I find the flavor of both to be excellent. Perhaps the Emerite has a more delicate flavor? I didn't grow them last year, just the Fortex, so I kind of forget. I just know I love the flavor even if I can't describe it!
In the end it is truly a matter of personal taste and when one reads different threads on the internet it is interesting how people can fervently favor one over the other! It does sound as if something strange was going on in your area for others to be hollow too! No matter what, growing these pole beans has made string bean growing and harvesting a real pleasure over the bush varieties!

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 6, 2014
5:15 PM

Post #9741957

I just saw Pinetree Seeds has Fortex. I've grown bush beans several years now and they just keep producing. I've read they stop after about 4wks but that's not been my experience.

We enjoyed Blue Lake. I also had great production of green beans & dried beans from Rattlesnake. My DH didn't like the latter, though I think it might have been the coloration rather than the flavor. This year I'm trying Emerite.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

January 11, 2014
3:30 PM

Post #9745520

I have already ordered Eggplants plants, tomato plants and pepper plants to be shipped late April.

Eggplants-
Fairy Tale
Millionaire
Casper
Ophelia

Peppers-
Felicity
Jimmy Nardello

My tomato list so far is one plant each of-
Pork Chop
Black & Brown Boar
Blue Gold
Solar Flare
Blue Beauty
Sweet Carneros Pink
AAA Sweet Solano
Berkeley Tie Dye
SteakHouse Hybrid
Porterhouse Hybrid
Razzle Dazzle
Beaverlodge slicer
Beaverlodge plum
Glacier
Oregon Spring
Cuore Di Bue
Momotaro
Japanese Black Trifle
Pink Berkley Tie Dye
Grandma's Pick
Zebra Cherry

Can't wait!
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 11, 2014
8:35 PM

Post #9745720

What company are you using to order your plants? Nice list! I am not familiar with the Ophelia eggplant. Did you grow some of these tomatoes last year? I love the Porkchop. Momotaro is one of two hybrids I always grow because it is always so dependable. Having just said that I am deviating from my norm this summer and dropping it because I have too many new ones and other old timers I also hate to give up. Will be interested to hear how your different varieties turn out. You certainly had a banner year in 2013. It was a pleasure to follow your threads!!

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 12, 2014
12:35 AM

Post #9745751

Hi all :)
Wow what a great variety of veggies mentioned already! I saw you girls in TX have already started your tomatoes!? I'm an hour west of Fort Worth, and wasn't planning on starting mine til February.. Should I be starting mine now??

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

January 12, 2014
9:52 AM

Post #9746025

First batch of tomato plants ordered from Wild Boar Farms. I really am excited about these!

http://www.wildboarfarms.com/

Then I Ordered three tomatoes and Fairey Tale eggplant from Burpee.

The rest of my plants ordered from Teritorial Seed.

The only thing on the entire list I have grown before was the Fairy Tale Eggplant. Those were my favorite eggplants from last year. Momotaro tomato I ordered because so many here at Daves seem to grow it and like it so I have to try also. Same with Millionaire and Casper eggplants. Folks here loved them. Ophelia just sounded good to me so I want to try it.

I have been thinking of getting all kinds of new to me tomato varieties for some years and this year I was just organised and decided to do it. I am hoping for a fabulous tomato year.


stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 12, 2014
10:54 AM

Post #9746048

Becky, I'm in Ft Worth and now is the time to start them inside!

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 12, 2014
12:20 PM

Post #9746100

Stephanie, you're a doll.. Will do :)

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 12, 2014
1:12 PM

Post #9746129

I started mine this past Tuesday and saw a few "necks" poking out this morning! I should have seedlings soon! I need to plant my peppers and tomatillos, too.
podster
Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 12, 2014
4:39 PM

Post #9746248

[quote="newyorkrita"]First batch of tomato plants ordered from Wild Boar Farms. I really am excited about these!

http://www.wildboarfarms.com/

Then I Ordered three tomatoes and Fairey Tale eggplant from Burpee.

The rest of my plants ordered from Teritorial Seed.

[/quote]

Wow ~ Rita You ordered plants? And this early? I would have figured you would start them from seed.

Guess I need to get mine started here. I'm slow on everything this year.
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 12, 2014
9:43 PM

Post #9746429

Rita,
I didn't realize that Wild Boar Farms sold plants as well! I have planted some of their seeds and like their Tie Dye series. I will be growing the Berkeley Tie Dye Heart this year because it was my favorite of the Tie Dyes from 2010 plantings. I think you will be very pleased with your Wild Boar selections.
Yes, Millionaire and Caspar are also great varieties.
I ordered tomato plants from Burpee several years ago and they sent awesome plants. I hope you have the same good luck with them. More recent reviews have not been as favorable so I wish you good luck.
In the future a really good site you might want to check out for tomato plants is Tomato Girl (Tomato Baby) http://www.tomatobabycompany.com Check them out on Garden watchdog http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/6698/
Alana is a joy to work with. They are not taking orders for 2014 yet. But she has wonderful varieties and is always generous with extras. She really takes time to work with customers.
I will start all my tomatoes from seed. Still waiting on one last package of seeds from Fedco.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 13, 2014
8:32 AM

Post #9746756

StillplaysWdirt,

Get those babies in the dirt, fast. I've learned that one of the primary contributors to poor tomato harvests in this area is planting out too late.

Last season (for the first time), I planted my tomato seedlings out February 23rd (I was a week behind schedule, too). It was still winter, and we had a couple cold nights down to the 30s. But, my hoops covered with perforated plastic, some old bedsheets, and a space heater were all at the ready as frost contingencies. Didn't have to use the heater.

I was harvesting huge tomatoes from mid-May through mid-July. Best crop I ever had!

This year, I sowed tomato seeds on Tuesday, December 31st. They were up on Saturday January 11th, just a bit behind schedule. They'll be hardened off the week of February 9th, at 6 weeks, for transplanting on February 15th, under covered hoops.

I'm growing Sweet Ozark Oranges and a NOID from seeds I saved last season. I'm praying the seeds are from the "Beauty" tomato.

Linda

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 13, 2014
8:59 AM

Post #9746782

Woohoo! I have seedlings! These Pantano Romanesco seeds are left from last year. Sowed them 1/7 and they popped out this morning. Now if the others would just start sprouting, I'd be a happy camper.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 13, 2014
10:12 AM

Post #9746825

Congrats, Steph!

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 13, 2014
10:24 AM

Post #9746831

All my tomato seedlings have germinated.
As usual I have more than I need and soon I need to thin them ... ooohhh
Following M. Thun's 2014 biodynamic calendar, my ideal transplant out date should be:
February 24 and 25th
or my latest date March 4-5-6th
I also I have a change on February 16th ... it will depends on the 10 days forecasts and on how fast my transplants will grow.
This will be my 6th year of growing tomatoes.
After recording 5 years of average temperatures, I found out that here there is always a warm front when I transplant our my tomatoes. Maybe for 2 weeks, then it gets really cold.
In these 2 weeks of great weather the tomato plants adjust to the outside weather and they start to grow well and when the cold arrive (which it always does first or second week of March) the plants are very strong and they survived (off course under protections).
Normally the first weeks in March is when the tomato transplants are available from our nurseries. People plant them and 2 days later the cold front come and they lose their plants.

Last year it was very hard. It was cold until April.I cannot tell you how many times I went outside to cover and uncover those plants. It was a true love !! I hope this year will be better.

The season after the coldest weather during the Dallas Superbowl was the best veggie garden season ever. I think the cold killed a lot of the bad bugs.
This year I recorder the coldest season ever since I move here: down to 17F.
So I am expecting a great vegetable season again.

ps. The calendar I posted is on Eastern Time

Thumbnail by drthor
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 13, 2014
10:28 AM

Post #9746838

I definitely have appreciated the possibility that the freeze has killed off some of the buggies. Last season was miserable because of the mild winter of 2012.

So many bugs were populating all over the place. Worst infestation of tiny green wormies I've ever seen!

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 13, 2014
12:55 PM

Post #9747009

Gymgirl, yes this my first year starting tomatoes indoors and I am so glad I stumbled upon this thread! I did germinate some solely as an experiment to test my fermentation technique, and was surprised just how easy they are. Worried that I'll kill them once they sprout though.. I need to spend some time in the tomatoes forums I suppose. I like your idea of having them in the ground early and protecting them through the last few freezes to get a jump on the hot weather.. Seems common sense, yet most people I know buy in April, May, but here you are already harvesting!! Guess who's advice I'll be following now? Lol

Drthor, you're right.. this is the coldest winter I've ever seen here. Hope the cold knows when to quit this year, I've already had enough furry boot weather! But if it kills all these grasshopper eggs, I'll take it as long as I need to!! Those little $&@!s were my biggest challenge last year!

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 13, 2014
1:45 PM

Post #9747055

Becky, I seldom visit the tomato forum here. Most of the growing from seed tutorials and such that I've used have been in this forum. Last year's threads were very long and very helpful.

I use a fluorescent light set up. I got the lights free off of Freecycle, so just had the expense of the bulbs, one "cool" and one "hot" in each light fixture. I use yogurt cups to start my seeds in and a homemade seed starting mix from organic potting soil, compost, green sand, lava sand, and earthworm castings. I don't use a heating mat, but I wish I had one. We have an older electric heater that we plug in under the shelves that provides heat. It's not a pretty set up, but it works!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 13, 2014
2:27 PM

Post #9747090

LOL,

"It's not a pretty set up, but it works!"

Oh, the set-up stories we could tell...I recently constructed a pvc light kit for $12-$15 (depending on how much your couplers cost). I just suspended two fluorescent shop lights side x side. I screwed the two lights onto a lightweight sheet of plyboard and suspended the plyboard from the pvc frame. It sits on my breakfast nook table, and is quite portable! I love it.

I also accidentally morphed that light kit frame into portable tabletop hoops. You can sit trays underneath and cover them with greenhouse plastic, a sheet, or some tulle!

Best part is, everything breaks down at the end of the season for EZ storage.

Don't have my USB cable, so I can't post pics until later.

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 13, 2014
5:09 PM

Post #9747190

Linda, we've been through several light set ups over the years, haven't we? Lots of trial and error until you find something that works. I think that's half the "joy" of gardening.
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 13, 2014
6:18 PM

Post #9747232

Linda,

Would love to see a picture when you are able of the pvc light kit. I have been watching some do-it-yourself U-Tube presentations to get ideas and making my own sketches. Mine will have to be 48" because that is the length of the lights I already have! I have a wonderful set-up on a balcony porch but it is too cold there until April and I need something temporary and portable (i.e. breakdown able (is that a word?) to use indoors. How long is yours (24' , 48"?). What thickness pvc did you use?

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 13, 2014
7:15 PM

Post #9747277

Stephanie, that's good I know, I'll go back and read up on some of those old threads. I have a 4 shelf setup with lights on 2 levels.. Been using it to nurse along some tropical seedlings and some overwintering pepper plants. I guess I can devote the other 2 shelves to tomatoes once they sprout. I've been using 48 inch fluorescent grow lights I found at walmart for ten bucks a pop. Would like to find some heat mats too, I ended up using my personal heating pad for some propagating last summer and would rather not have to borrow it again lol!

I think most of us have gardening areas that we wish looked prettier, but as long as it works, I'll take it!! My ugliest area right now is my outdoor overhead storage cabinet.. Can't even open it without being attacked by the gazillion milk jugs I'm saving for winter sowing. Thank goodness it's about time to start..

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 14, 2014
6:27 AM

Post #9747516

Hmph. I killed three of these day before yesterday- they seem to be drawn to my truck, and they were monsters! That was Houston after the rains. Of course today Green Bay looks like this.

Thumbnail by kittriana   Thumbnail by kittriana         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 14, 2014
7:37 AM

Post #9747570

"Shut the front door!" Are those shield bugs? Nasty lil' boogers!

Gardadore,
I grabbed the wrong cable this morning. Still can't post pics.

But, the prototype for the pvc light kit came from mhpgardener on YouTube. I built the frame just like his. But, he paid $60 for his 4-bulb fluorescent light kit, and I already had SIXTEEN 2-bulb shop lights. I searched further on YouTube and saw a guy affixing the shop lights to the plyboard, side x side. So, that's what I did, and hung that rig instead of spending $$ I didn't need to spend.

Here's mhpgardener's YouTube video of his light stand. It accommodates a 48" light kit. And, he's right -- the frame is so lightweight a 5-yr-old can carry it around (without the lights)
Start watching at 4:48:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAYpn2Md9eA&list=PLCxrB0SIHkCXRG1u737Kzj9Ixyy7nL3bZ&index=4

Here's the Light Kit video (this guy talks too much, but, bear with him...)
Watch from 3:38 to 12:35.

He affixed three kits -- I only affixed two because I wanted a narrower setup. Also, I used 3/4" plywood on my first kit, and it's kinda heavy. I used a much lighter sheet of wood for the second kit. As long as the lights are side x side and evenly spaced, the thickness of the board doesn't matter as long as it's strong enough to hold the lights...My lights are 48" long.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAKP9yaZksY&list=PLCxrB0SIHkCXRG1u737Kzj9Ixyy7nL3bZ

The portable greenhouses I accidentally made came from mhpgardener's grow light frame, and ldsprepper's mini greenhouse video. All I did was make a square pvc base like mhpgardener's light kit. But, I didn't construct the center hanging support. I used four (4) "T" couplers along the long sides of the square base. Then, I installed ldsprepper's mini greenhouse A-Frames right into the couplers.

Voila! A portable mini greenhouse!

Ok, where there's a will, there's a way! PICTURES!

This message was edited Jan 14, 2014 10:55 AM

Thumbnail by Gymgirl   Thumbnail by Gymgirl   Thumbnail by Gymgirl      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 14, 2014
7:46 AM

Post #9747575

The PVC Light Stand I made. Notice how thick the plyboard is. I recommend using a lighter weight piece of wood to affix the lights to. Anything substantial enough to hold the lights on.

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 14, 2014
7:53 AM

Post #9747582

If you zoom in on the PVC light stand in my last post, you can see the "T" coupler that the center support goes into. I simply split the two 24" side pieces (in the base) into four pieces and joined them with "T" couplers. Then, I slipped in the mini greenhouse frames I made.

Here is ldsprepper's YouTube video on how to make the mini greenhouse frames. All you need is a heat gun (a blow dryer will NOT work...) and a piece of plyboard and some nails to make your jig. I followed his instructions exactly, and the whole process was EZ PZ!

Plus, nothing is glued together so the whole thing can be broken down for storage. My next project is to make some 30" long x 10" wide storage pouches with a fold over flap and a snap, or a drawstring.

Any seamstresses out there, LMK, LOL!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7uis53iRmk&list=PLCxrB0SIHkCWhzg93bgaFyydxzdoAmvzZ&index=14


This message was edited Jan 14, 2014 11:16 AM

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 14, 2014
8:01 AM

Post #9747588

Yeah, shield bugs. and he was the smallest. Dont think it stayed cold long enough to kill em. Be warned they are crawlin back up for the heat even now.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 14, 2014
8:17 AM

Post #9747610

Test.

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 14, 2014
9:10 AM

Post #9747651

Kitt those are some funky bugs! I do think some of the bugs in Texas look like they haven't changed since the days of dinosaurs. Every once in a while I see these beetle looking fellas with what looks like a machine gear on their back. Like a robo-bug! Lol

Gymgirl - I love how simple yet effective that PVC light setup is.. Thanks for sharing it!! I might do something like that for my very top shelf where I can put my taller plants that won't fit on the other 18 inch high shelves below. Do you enclose the sides of your hoops when it freezes? I like that setup also. It would def work for my raised beds, especially if I plan on getting some veggies in before my avg last frost date! What type of plastic sheeting do you use to cover the frame? I am on a major budget.. Like a '3 kids and one income' budget! Lol

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 14, 2014
10:06 AM

Post #9747693

Protect those assasin bugs- the one with a gear on it- GOOOD GOOOOD BUG! Umm Home Depot has in the paint dept 5mil opaque plastic sheeting 10'x25' and up. I have some of that but dont use it since where I am the plants would cook if we dont uncover. Sometimes I wrap a 3' circle around the plant and then lay a board across the top for single plants- heat can escape that way.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 14, 2014
12:11 PM

Post #9747758

StillPlaysWDirt,
Glad this helps! I do know about garden (and lifestyle) budgets, too! And, I don't even HAVE three children, LOL!!!

Do you enclose the sides of your hoops when it freezes?
Yes! The plastic sheeting on RB #1 covers the entire hoop with lots of overhang all the way around. We had two hard freezes last week, and I simply let it down. However, I was sick, and couldn't stay out long. Otherwise, I would have removed that sheeting, draped some bed sheets over the hoop first, then, replaced the plastic sheeting. Any leaves that touch the plastic in a freeze situation can get burned. Fortunately, my plants were tucked in enough they weren't harmed. Also, it is important to water the plants well before a freeze, leaves and soil. I've learned (Kitt, correct me here...) that plants succumb more from dehydration than cold in a freeze event. They draw the water up into their tissues as their protection. No water to draw up, and they're usually mush...My third line of defense in an extreme freeze event (below 30° for several days) would be to shove a space heater or some old fashioned Christmas bulbs (not LEDs) under the hoop...

What type of plastic sheeting do you use to cover the frame?
I bought the roll that Kitt described, from HD. Mine is 4 mil contractor's sheeting. If you look at the side x side hoops in the pics above, you can see the sheeting on RB #1 (left) is more opaque than RB #2. I rescued that large piece on RB #2 from a trash basket at the HD store. It is more clear than the contractor sheeting. I don't get full-on sun in my yard, so the clearer the sheeting, the better for my situation. I'm about to order some from a distributor for $.10/square foot. I, too, am on a major budget..LOL! But, I can get enough crystal clear sheeting to last me the next 4 years or so. . If there's one thing I've learned about veggie gardening, it's that the plants can withstand the cold far, far better than they can take the wind whipping them all over the place. I'll have various covers on the hoops probably year round: plastic & sheets for winter, shade cloth for scorching sun, Agribon for light winter.

For budgeting, I would suggest locating some other gardener's in your area and forming a shopping coop. Ya'll could order one time and split the shipping cost, which is the usual "deal breaker..."

Here's the link:
http://www.agriculturesolutions.com/products/greenhouse-supplies/sun-selector-greenhouse-plastic/sun-selector-uva-clear-greenhouse-film-4-year-6mil-per-sq-ft-detail

P.S. Listen to Kitt on those Assassin and Gear bugs. My assassin bugs are one of the best weapons in my garden pest arsenal!

Kitt,
I can't wait to catch up with you at our next RU!

Linda

This message was edited Jan 14, 2014 4:52 PM
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 14, 2014
1:59 PM

Post #9747862

Thanks, Linda, for the info and links. This should keep me busy with planning for a while and out of trouble! I have never made anything using PVC pipe so it will be a new experience. I just hope I can get the measurements right so things line-up and hook together properly!!

Jessica

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 14, 2014
2:57 PM

Post #9747900

Jessica,
It's a piece 'a cake, really.

Just buy yourself a pair of those racheting PVC pipe cutters at Home Depot, and get your 10' lengths of PVC tubing.

I'll review my instructions and post a materials and cut list for:
► the PVC pipe, and
► the PVC couplers and connectors

Linda

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 14, 2014
2:58 PM

Post #9747901

Ok. I'll just put together a tutorial on how to make one, and post it here by the weekend.

Linda
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 14, 2014
3:16 PM

Post #9747907

What size tubing do you recommend? 1" or 1 1/4" or 1 1/2". I think the one U-Tube video I saw several weeks ago used a mix of these but I am not sure. I love your set-up for the hoops! I'll have to deal with this in March as I will be away until then but I enjoy spending down time "designing" projects!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 14, 2014
3:55 PM

Post #9747934

Gardadore,

"I love your set-up for the hoops!"

Just so we're on the same page, let's call them:
►Hoops (the large PVC pipes bent over my raised beds)
►Mini greenhouse (the smallest hoop with the PVC A-Frames)
►PVC Light Stand

So, you love the large ones over the raised beds, yes? No?

LOL!

P.S. If you buy your PVC cutter and take it with you, you could buy your 10' PVC pipe wherever you are and cut the tubes in your down time. Pack 'em in your suitcase. Great floor for the shoes, LOL!

gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 14, 2014
6:28 PM

Post #9748077

I like all of your projects - very creative!! The first order of business for me is the PVC Light Stand, then I will work on the Mini Greenhouse, then the large pipes over the raised beds!! Still need to know the size of the pipes (not the length - I know that is 10 feet!). Think I'll stick to the designing in the down time. Doubt DH would appreciate me dragging 10 ft pipes onto ships and into hotel rooms to cut down!! Problem of weight on airplanes as well!! Have to pack the cutter in sent luggage! Don't need to be picked up for carrying a deadly weapon! Also his idea of an excursion or tour is not HD (Walmart maybe in a pinch!)!! LOL!!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 14, 2014
8:47 PM

Post #9748162

LOL! Ok, we'll wait for after the trip.

Although, you'd be the only one on board with a personal emergency raft, LOL!

You'll need 1" Schedule 40 PVC pipe (the thick-walled, more rigid).

POST EDIT NOTE:
Actually, after I broke my frame down for your cut list below, I found that I had used Schedule 200 pipe (the thin-walled) for the square bottom base. I used the rigid Schedule 40 (thick-walled) for all the vertical uprights, to support the weight of the light kits.

If you go 100% Schedule 40, the entire frame will be considerably heavier. I didn't see the need for the thick base pieces. If you detect sagging in any of the top horizontals, just replace those pieces with Schedule 40 PVC, but, so far, my frame hasn't shown any sagging, even with the 3/4" plywood.

This message was edited Jan 16, 2014 9:10 AM

This message was edited Jan 16, 2014 9:13 AM
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 14, 2014
8:51 PM

Post #9748165

Thanks! I like the personal raft idea!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 15, 2014
8:00 AM

Post #9748374

Gardadore,
Here's your materials and cut list!

1" Sch 40 PVC Pipe
6 pcs @ 24"
4 pcs @ 20"
6 pcs @ 5"

1" PVC Couplers:
Eight (8) 90º elbows
Four (4) Tees
One (1) 4-way Cross

Hardware
Four (4) Eye Bolts w/Nuts
Four (4) "S" Hooks
18" length of Jack Chain

Fluorescent Light Kit / Shop Lights
I use regular T12 shop light kits. Two mounted side x side gives me four suspended light bulbs. My plants do fine.

NOTE: You can make your frame any height and any width. Mine is 19" high, to fit a certain space. The original design uses a height of 20".

My stand is 15" wide. Adjust your width (+)(-) via the short pieces, top and bottom. I can cut 4 more short pieces to 8" each to widen my stand to ~ 21" width.

The whole frame is customizeable.

Godspeed, and Good Harvest!

Linda

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 15, 2014
5:32 PM

Post #9748762

Yesterday, I planted another tomato variety, bell peppers (red, yellow, orange), and jalapenos. I ordered 2 more early tomatoes to try. They should be here this week and I'll plant them next week. My Homestead seeds haven't sprouted yet, so I also ordered more of those.
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

January 15, 2014
9:16 PM

Post #9748891

Thanks, Linda. Somehow I will want to avoid the plywood. I have the T12 light fixtures and will need them later for my porch set up. This design looks familiar from U-Tube and I think there may have been an addition because he at first had one light and then re-designed this so there were two bars running across to attach 2 light to. Will check that out when I get back! Off early tomorrow out of the cold for 6 weeks - yeah!

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 15, 2014
9:28 PM

Post #9748896

Ahhh, good to know the assassin bugs are on MY team, I have too many here that are working against me!! Lol

Gymgirl, I'm so glad to hear you use painters plastic with good results. I've inquired about that before elsewhere (since it's much more budget friendly than the thicker greenhouse grade stuff) but have always been told it wouldn't work.. Well the proof is in the pudding and I'm going to give it a whirl this year. The Xmas lights are a genius idea also, I never would have thought of that.

I can't wait to start building my PVC projects now.. Gonna do the light stand first, so I can actually utilize the top tier of my shelving unit. Next will be the hoops. I think once it really heats up this summer, I'll lose the plastic and use shade cloth as suggested. Yall have been such a great resource for me!! Thanks a ton! :D

Stephanie, I'm planting all my seeds this weekend.. You really lit a fire under my butt to get the ball in motion already! Lol

This message was edited Jan 16, 2014 10:12 AM

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 16, 2014
7:15 AM

Post #9749065

Gardadore, et al,

Please reference the post edit note here:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=9748162

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 16, 2014
8:08 AM

Post #9749115

StillPlaysWDirt,
Another budget $$ saver is to check with some local plumbers to see if they have any trash lengths of PVC pipe. The longest length in the frame is 24", so you'll probably find lots of pieces you could cut down for the rest of the pieces.

Here's my materials shopping list:

1 in. x 10 ft. PVC Schedule 40 Plain-End Pipe (thick-walled)
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded-1-in-x-10-ft-PVC-Schedule-40-Plain-End-Pipe-531194/202280936#

1 in. x 10 ft. PVC DWV Plain-End Pipe (thin-walled)
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded-3-4-in-x-10-ft-PVC-DWV-Plain-End-Pipe-57570/100168741?keyword=3%2F4+in.+x10ft.+PVC+DWV+Plain-End+PIpe#

Mueller Streamline 1 in. PVC Slip x Slip x Slip Tee
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Mueller-Streamline-1-in-PVC-Slip-x-Slip-x-Slip-Tee-401-010HC/100344265?N=buf5%3FNao%3D48#

Mueller Streamline 1 in. PVC Pressure S x S x S x S Cross
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Mueller-Streamline-1-in-PVC-Pressure-S-x-S-x-S-x-S-Cross-420-010HC/100125576?N=buf5%3FNao%3D192#

Mueller Streamline 1 in. PVC 90-Degree Slip x Slip Elbows (5-Pack)
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Mueller-Streamline-1-in-PVC-90-Degree-Slip-x-Slip-Elbows-5-Pack-406-010P5/100156849#

Cobra PST002 Ratcheting PVC Cutter, 1-5/8-Inch
http://www.amazon.com/Cobra-PST002-Ratcheting-Cutter-8-Inch/dp/B000HSAPR8



This message was edited Jan 16, 2014 10:23 AM

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 19, 2014
2:36 PM

Post #9751373

Wow great tutorial and shopping list Gymgirl! Have you ever thought about starting your own gardening blog? I follow a few, Pam Pennick's and onehundreddollarsamonth being my absolute favorites.

Anywho, funny you mention scavenging from plumbers.. I'm only going to have to buy one length of PVC since my FIL has a ton of odd lengths and couplers lying around. He recently built their new house and there are oodles of random building supplies leftover.. Lucky me! I was gonna do it this week but decided to upgrade my seed starting lights instead (one project at a time!!). Up until now I've been using some portable shop lights secured by zipties. Now I've got some brand spanking new grow lights.. Woohoo looks so much better!

Can't wait to post pics and share when I get this PVC project done!

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 19, 2014
3:04 PM

Post #9751407

Forgot to add, I got my veggie plans locked in finally..

5x5 raised bed (3 sisters style):
- Country gentleman corn
- Kentucky wonder pole beans
- Odessa summer squash
- Teddy Bear sunflower (my 'bonus' 4th sister!)

4x8 raised bed:
- Envy soybean
- Parisienne carrots
- Romanesco broccoli
- Strawberry Sticks (chenopodium capitatum)
- Sweet basil
- Siam Queen basil
- Ghost peppers
- Fish peppers
Also some jalapeño and bells I've over wintered indoors, although I fear the jalapeños might be dead, not dormant :(

Bean Tunnel:
- Painted lady runner
- Purple pod yardlong
- Black seeded yardlong
- Chinese red noodle yardlong


Tomatoes:
- Ace 55 V
- Black icicle
- Black cherry
- Blue berry
- Captain lucky
- Cherokee purple
- Cherokee tiger black dwarf
- Dark copia heart
- Grubs green mystery
- Japanese black trifele
- Matts wild cherry
- Mortgage lifter
- Opalka
- Oxheart pineapple
- Persimmon
- Pink bumblebee
- Red pixie dwarf
- Sweet pea
- Tlacolula
- Yellow bell
- Yellow currant


Also gonna start an asparagus bed from seed with 'Martha Washington' & 'Purple Knight'.
Mignonette Alpine strawberry seeds will be grown in gutters.

Whew maybe I'm biting off more than I can chew. Lol!

meadowyck

meadowyck
Brooksville, FL
(Zone 9a)

January 19, 2014
4:13 PM

Post #9751441

Stillplayswdirt, I like your plan, you a gardener after my own heart.

Jan

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 19, 2014
5:32 PM

Post #9751487

Well thanks!! I am so excited!!! I'd love to hear if anyone here has tried some of these varieties and can offer any words of wisdom, I especially love the 'Don't do this..' type of advice!!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 19, 2014
9:43 PM

Post #9751606

StillPlaysWDirt,
Glad the list was helpful. I don't think I'd have the time to devote to a blog the way I'd want it to go, LOL!

Your garden plans are ambitious! 21 varieties of tomatoes! That's a lotta sauce, LOL!

How much cold weather do you have in front of you still? The broccoli is a cool/cold weather plant. Soon as it starts warming up, it's gonna swoon. Then the aphids are gonna jump it.

If you can, get them out between 42-55º. Try to time it so they're established and heading before the temps jump up to 75º. They can take temps down to the low 30ºs with some protection against the wind. The wind does far more damage than the cold...

This message was edited Jan 21, 2014 9:04 AM
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 20, 2014
11:29 AM

Post #9751983

SPWD, I've had good luck with the Parisienne carrots and really any pole beans in my garden. I also always seem to do at least OK if not much better with Mortgage Lifter tomatoes. Country Gentleman is still one of my favorites and I always seem to find room for it where ever we move.

Please post photos of your bean tunnel once it gets up and running. I've always wanted to try that!

Good luck with this years garden to all of you!

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

January 21, 2014
10:21 AM

Post #9752669

Thanks for that link to Tpmato Baby. I will continue to look and see when they are taking ordered for 2014. I see some really great varieties they have that are very hard to find.

I Had to order early. IF I wait things get sold out or I just forget to order. Better to be prepaired.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

January 21, 2014
11:45 AM

Post #9752716

Just saw that Johnny's and a few other places are coming out with some tomatoes that are resistant to early and late blight. Apparently Matt's Wild Cherry already has that resistance. My currant tomatoes are pretty resistant, too, but I don't see any full-sized varieties that have that trait.

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 22, 2014
8:07 AM

Post #9753340

Gymgirl, yes I only plant to keep on or maybe two of each variety. Luckily we love salads and BLTs!! All the other babies will be sold or given away :) And you're right about the cauliflower, I should have specified I'll be holding onto those until next fall, along with the peas and lettuce. I've been toying with a few ideas and tweaking them to fit within my budget (or should I say lack thereof..), I'll post a final sketch on here later for critique lol. My biggest dilemma so far is planning a drip system. Anyone have luck rigging one up to run from a rain barrel(s)? Maybe with a flow diverter to turn it on/ off? Sorry I'll post that on a different forum..

Terri - I'm glad to hear you've tried and liked those varieties. I feel so much better when someone can vouch for a specific type.. Like I can trust it more not to fail me! Lol! If my bean tunnel doesn't look like crap I will post pictures.. In my head I envision my works in progress to look more professional than my end result..

Greenhouse gal - I picked out the 'Matts wild cherry' specifically for that reason, but didn't know that was a general trait of currant types. That's great since I have a few to try out. I figured with our summer heat and grasshopper infestation, anything smaller than your standard tomato will have a better chance of making it to my kitchen before succumbing to either.

I'm off to start said tomatoes now, and prep my WS jugs for next week. So glad y'all are here to help. Thanks again! :))
Becky

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 22, 2014
8:32 AM

Post #9753370

Dirt,
I've given in to installing a PVC drip irrigation system. I'll rent the GroundHog Mini trencher from HD, drill my 8" trenches, then run the 3/4" Class 200 pvc pipe in a grid to reach my raised beds. There'll be a cutoff valve at the head of each bed, so I can regulate the flow. I will drill holes in a length of Pvc pipe that will rest on small blocks of wood off the top of the soil, and drip into the root zones of the plants. Each 4' wide bed will have two pipes. Each 18" wide bed will have one pipe.

The water will come off my outdoor hose bib, on a timer for 60 seconds twice a day. Once in the morning, once in the evening.

I've learned that the plants do FAR, FAR better with regular drip irrigation that keeps them hydrated. They do suffer when they have to wait on the operator to grab the hose and flood them when she remembers to do so...

I'm loosely following ldsprepper on YouTube. He's doing a dedicated Mittleider garden. I'm not going all out with the system, but, I've chosen the parts that work for me in my existing system. Here's the link to his drip irrigation installment segment.

Considering how much I'll spend on the trench rental and the pvc pipe and couplings, I consider it a bargain once it's in place and on the timer. The plants will get the regular watering they need, and I'll have peace of mind and more free time to do gardening chores other than standing there with the watering wand, LOL!

Mittleider Garden:Automatic Watering, No Drip Irrigation, Soaker Hose, Sprinklers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV2pK94dBt8&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PL2cLVMJiux-kPNMq9fciRWHCfHqUQSaqG

This message was edited Jan 22, 2014 11:32 AM

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 22, 2014
9:19 AM

Post #9753408

That link was awesome!! I dub thee, the Queen of PVC, Gymgirl!! Lol seriously though, I need to walk my FIL around my plots and get his cost estimate. Shouldn't be too bad, maybe the elbow grease will be the hardest to muster ;)

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 22, 2014
10:09 AM

Post #9753427

Dirt,
What are the dimensions on your plots? Check this video out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CLWdctgzOA&list=PL2cLVMJiux-kPNMq9fciRWHCfHqUQSaqG

So far, I have two raised beds (RB) 4x8', and one RB 3x10'. I'm hoping to construct an 18" x 15' bed this spring.

I bought the lumber to construct the T-Frame over the 3x10' RB. I grow beefsteak, heirloom tomatoes in this bed, and the frame will accommodate the tremendous weight of the vines that grow upwards of 8'. In the fall/winter, I grow broccoli and cauliflowers in this bed.

Linda

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

January 22, 2014
10:27 AM

Post #9753438

StillPlaysWithDirt, the article didn't say all currant types had that resistance; it's just that the ones listed were all smaller than the kind I usually like to grow. My currant-type Petit Moineau has always been fairly vigorous even when my other types fail, but it may not be a universal currant-type trait.

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 22, 2014
6:14 PM

Post #9753722

Gymgirl - I have one 5x5 RB, one 4x8 RB and putting in two or three rows for tomatoes.. not sure how long they'll be yet, it depends how many plants I wind up with. I planted 117 pots of tomatoes today!! Hope to sell some to pay for my drip irrigation. Plan on supporting some of my tomato rows with cattle panel or going the stake and string route. Still so many ideas to bounce around but I want to get it all done by the end of February. I love your methods, hope to incorporate some of them into my own garden!!

Greenhouse gal - I hope mine are tough, I'll find out this year for sure.. Texas isn't very hospitable for tender green things lol! I have sweet pea and yellow currant in my plans. Hope yours do well for you also :)

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 27, 2014
8:26 AM

Post #9756587

I potted up 16 tomato seedlings from the community flat to individual drinking water bottles this weekend. Sweet Ozark Orange (SOO).

It's much more efficient and a time-saver to just sow the seeds in a common flat, then separate them out after they get a first set of true leaves. I used the deep, clear plastic spinach tubs you get at the big box stores. Kept the lids on til the seeds declared. Then, because they tubs are so deep, just left the seedlings in there till the true leaves came on. They're a bit crowded, but comfortable, since the depth allows for deep root expansion.

I also have a flat of NOIDS to pot up this evening. About 35-40 seedlings in another community flat. Prepped the drinking water bottles (tops cut off and holes punched in the bottoms) over the weekend, so it'll go swiftly.

Have had a small fan on the NOIDS since last week, and, so happy to report, I now have tiny TREES growing, LOL!

The SOOs will start taking field trips out into the yard starting next weekend.

Plant out is targeted for February 15th. Hurray!

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 28, 2014
8:47 AM

Post #9757372

Linda- haven't seen you over on the Tomato forum recently.

Due to an injury, I won't be working in the garden this year. I have ordered four Earthboxes and I have 6 home made E-buckets from previous years that I will be able to work from my wheelchair if I put them in the driveway. I'm only going to grow tomatoes and one pepper. I've decided on Sweet Ozark Orange, Husky Red, Momotaro, Sweet Isis cherry, Gold Nugget cherry, and Yummy orange mini sweet pepper. My 17 [year old] nephew likes helping me garden and he'll help get the containers filled and set.

David R


This message was edited Jan 28, 2014 10:48 AM

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 28, 2014
9:39 AM

Post #9757416

Gymgirl, I'll be trying that next with more seeds per container til germination. The easier the better. I got my 21 varieties sown Wednesday, 117 pots total. Now day 6, I woke up to 17 babies rearing their heads. Sweet! Dreaves - lucky you have a helper :)

Thumbnail by StillPlaysWDirt
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Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 29, 2014
6:44 AM

Post #9757969

Hey, Guys!
Not sure which forum to hang out in these days. The traffic is way down, so I guess I was just posting where the most conversation was happening, LOL!

David,
I will pray for a speedy and full recovery for you. Take it easy, and let the helper do the heavy part. Teach him to take directions, and, you can sit back and water the Earthboxes, LOL!

P.S. Because you'll be growing some LARGE tomatoes in the EBs, make sure you get some trellises set up beforehand, to contain all those huge vines, and keep them from collapsing in your lap!

It would be great if you could find an A-frame (childrens' swing set?) to sit right over the line of your tomato EBs. Then, your nephew could anchor the seedlings to the overhead with sturdy lines. Wind the line around the vines as they grow. Keep the plants trimmed to one main vine, and cut off the side shoots. That would be a piece 'a cake.

StillPlaysWDirt,
Glad my tip helped.

"I got my 21 varieties sown Wednesday, 117 pots total." When they get their true leaves, you'll have to pot up all 117 pots again, LOL! That's the step I managed to avoid, by using a community flat for the sowing.

"Sow once -- pot up, once!"

Hugs!

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

January 31, 2014
1:16 PM

Post #9759534

Hey, I ordered eggplant plants from Parks seeds to be shipped April 21.

Amadeo Epplants. Sure sounds like a great variety to me.
http://parkseed.com/amadeo-eggplant-hybrid-annual-plants-6-pack/p/87739-PK-6B/

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 31, 2014
3:35 PM

Post #9759662

I think I am in the wrong business. Veggie plants for over $2 each.

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

February 21, 2014
10:52 AM

Post #9773777

How is everyone's garden growing? I've been offline a bit, busy busy acquiring all my materials. My uncle is bringing his tractor over tomorrow, gonna till my plot, have lots of rabbit poo getting tilled in, also have 6 yards of nice sandy loam being delivered, to replenish my old bed and start another with. Have all my field fence and was going to make my own tomato cages, but another poster on a diff thread posted a pic of her tomatoes and she has them trained to climb the field fence she installed as one long row. As much as I wanted each plant to have its own cage, I'm going to wait til next year to construct them. Will be doing two long rows with 15 maters on each. I am planning on 3 feet spacing between each tomato plant and 5 feet walkway between rows, anyone think I can get away with less space between rows and maybe 2 feet spacing between plants?
I did get all my drip lines and emitters and will be building the adapter to attach rain barrel hose to this weekend. Will check back in more regularly, hope everyone is having a great week w this warm weather! Latest shot of the tomato seedlings..

Thumbnail by StillPlaysWDirt
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drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 21, 2014
3:21 PM

Post #9773964

StillPlaysWDirt
I learn to grow tomatoes from the guy in this video. He passed away now, but he lived in Dallas (you can really tell his Texaaaaas accent).
His videos are now free to watch. When I took the class the date that he transplanted his tomatoes outside was : FEBRUARY 11.
If you notice the date in these videos has been removed. It did happen when they posted them on youtube, in order to be available to a wider range of people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gh-VcwS3qus
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6yljCs0444

I watch his videos every year before tomato season will start.

Your seedlings look good. You might also have tons of tomatoes.

Picture #1: Tomatoes outside, transplanted on February 16th
Picture #2 and #3: Tomatoes outside under perforated plastic.
So far so good.


Thumbnail by drthor   Thumbnail by drthor   Thumbnail by drthor      
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StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

February 27, 2014
5:36 PM

Post #9778315

Wow FEB 11??!! We just had a freeze agin last night and I'm doing 2 rows of 15 plants each so I'm very happy they are not in the ground yet! Or I would be a crying mess right now LOL! I'm potting my seedlings up this weekend, last count was over 200!

Those pics are great, I can almost smell them in there. Hope they're doing good through this funky cold weather :D

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 28, 2014
5:11 AM

Post #9778552

yes they are still alive and they seem to like the hot/cold weather.
Today and tomorrow will be 79F.
I am worry for Sunday.
We never being so cold here in the past 5 years of tomato gardening.

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

February 28, 2014
7:44 PM

Post #9779156

Good to know dr thor, and I hope they make it through the freeze they're calling for Sunday. It's supposed to dip down to 18 degrees here!! So glad I haven't given in to temptation and planted out all my babies I had brought in for the winter.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 1, 2014
4:52 AM

Post #9779262

I will be prepared !
So far so good!
Wish me luck!

By the way, each plant has also at least 1 1/2' of stem underground. I did use the "trench" method to transplant them.

This message was edited Mar 1, 2014 6:54 AM

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StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 1, 2014
7:13 PM

Post #9779751

Nice pics! Weather says storm arrives lunchtime for the DFW metroplex. Calling for 1/4 inch sleet and low of 19. Brrrrrrrr!! I'll be making sure all my perennials are mulched, they all have tons of new growth already. High temp was 83 here today. Ma nature needs to mellow out lol
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 4, 2014
9:34 AM

Post #9781666

I was about to plant my tomatoes out Saturday but ran out of daylight. I thought "oh well, tomorrow". By the time we got home Sunday the winds were blowing like mad and the temp was starting to drop, so I waited and boy am I glad I did. My garden, yard, pastures and goat pens are about a 5" solid sheet of ice. Even still today. The winds blew so hard the door on my little greenhouse/shed blew off! I had a number of peach trees in bloom and blueberries, too. I've probably lost that crop, but I'll be happy if the trees and bushes survive! And the bees who were joyously working over all the blooms on Saturday...

drthor and all, hope you didn't get hit as hard with this weather and all it fine with you guys.

Terri

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 4, 2014
10:00 AM

Post #9781677

OMG this weather is insane.
I was able to cover all my tomatoes Saturday afternoon while it was 83F.
I covered them with 6 layers of plastic and blankets. I didn't want the blankets to get wet so I covered at the very end with 6mil plastic.
I went to bed with blisters in my hands ... after clipping 6 layers .. oouch !
It is not easy to grow tomatoes here !!
We dropped to 16F !!! and I lost my hopes ...
Yesterday I had to pick under the hoops and what a surprise. I opened a little bit and I looked with a flash light: all the tomatoes (18) under the smaller hoop were standing and alive !!
So I did pick under the larger/longer hoop house and I saw a few wilting, but the rest were standing up straight. WOW ... is still possible !!
I did plant too many tomatoes anyway (56) and I was always ready to loose some caused of weather. I also have 18 plants growing inside ... just in case.

The plants are still covered right now. Outside temperature is 38F ... and inside the hoop is 56F. So I did a good job covering them.

I forgot ... the area where I planted the majority of my tomatoes is an area that doesn't get much drainage and it stays wet longer (which it is great in the summer ... but not now). Probably the reason I lost pants in that area is because the soil is too wet there.
I just need to remember to not plant tomatoes in that area ever again !
I was just trying to rotate my plants.

The surviving tomatoes will be my heroes and they will be so strong !!

I still cannot believe it !

Good luck y'all !
terri_emory
Alba, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 4, 2014
10:10 AM

Post #9781686

That's great to hear drthor! I knew if you got them covered most would be OK. Mine are safe inside the house and not in the greenhouse. I think if the door blew off the greenhouse then no matter what sort of hoop/tunnels I built, they would have been toast. Wind will always be a issue out here where I live. So I will just have to plant a little later and have fun with the tomatoes I do get!

Hope the sun shines soon!

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 9, 2014
10:23 PM

Post #9786150

Man y'all got lucky! I am SO happy mine weren't in ground! This week is supposed to be real pretty, hope it marks the end of freezing temps.

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 10, 2014
6:44 AM

Post #9786350

Luck !! This is hard work !
You can call me the hoop master ! The secret is really making sure that no cold hair will go inside the hoops.
I am attaching some pictures because I also have hard time to believe it ...
Honestly this happens every year (maybe not as cold) ... and this is the success of my tomatoes.
These pictures are from 4 days ago. Now the plants are even bigger.

Thumbnail by drthor   Thumbnail by drthor   Thumbnail by drthor   Thumbnail by drthor   
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drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 10, 2014
6:49 AM

Post #9786352

This is the only tomato I pulled out: Sapho.
i did plant it using the "trenching" technique and I was so impressed on how fast the new roots did grow in only the 18 days that the plant was outside (in the freezing weather).
This is the second year that I lose this variety to the cold weather...I don't think I will plant it again.
Maybe I will need to look into those tomatoes varieties that start with Russian on their name if this kind of weather keep coming back next year in DFW.

Happy gardening!

Starting okra seeds this week.

Thumbnail by drthor   Thumbnail by drthor         
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stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 10, 2014
7:49 AM

Post #9786388

Finally got my onions in the ground. They'll grow, but they won't be as big as they should be. Drats! My tomato plants are hardening off. They're on their first field trip to the big outside world this morning. My work schedule isn't really conducive to gardening this year, so hubby has been doing the bulk of it.

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 10, 2014
8:49 AM

Post #9786437

LOL Dr. Thor! Sorry to offend, I know it is HARD work and your babies appreciate it (it is obvious from the pics), not luck, bad choice of words on my part :)

Stephanie, lucky you to have a hub who helps in the garden. Mine just stands there and talks my ear off while drinking shiner bock. Lol. But that may be my fault, hard to help a control freak such as myself! Hope your maters are happy to get some sun!
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 12, 2014
12:59 PM

Post #9788193

Supposed to freeze here again tonight. Last year we had freezes until May. The soil here isn't warm enough to plant out. I planted a few tomato plants "early" last year and they just sat there. They produced maybe a week earlier then the ones that were planted out a month later. I plant tomatoes that are recommended for hot weather and they produce all summer long. They slow down, when it gets hot but they never stop...no extra work at all.

I have been wondering why so many tomatoes are from Russia when they are considered a warm weather crop?

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 12, 2014
1:25 PM

Post #9788213

Russia is a very big country.
Ukraine is like mid US.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 12, 2014
1:40 PM

Post #9788220

Ok, Thanks.

stephanietx

stephanietx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 12, 2014
4:45 PM

Post #9788333

Hi Lisa!!

We got our onions and peas planted, finally. I know we're late, but that seems to be the story of our lives this year!

1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 12, 2014
7:59 PM

Post #9788457

Hi Stephanie, it's been so cold here that planting any earlier would be a waste of time. I'm sure your onions and peas will be fine. Gardening in Tx is always a gamble, there is no way to predict the temps but this year they have been extreme.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 13, 2014
7:26 AM

Post #9788683

"but this year they (the temps) have been," Extremely CRAZY, lol!!!

StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 19, 2014
1:16 PM

Post #9793137

Ha! Yes crazy to say the least, I'd venture to say Ma Nature is menopausing!!

Dying to see photos of everyone's spring veggie gardens. Mine is getting planted over the weekend (weather permitting) and I'll post. Nothing exciting, just a bunch of puny seedlings! Lol

drthor

drthor
Irving, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 19, 2014
1:35 PM

Post #9793162

Surprise today: first green tomatoes of this year !!
Truly amazing after 15F degrees weather !!
Normally I get my first green tomatoes around march 16th.
This year a little slow ... but only 3 days ... :)

Thumbnail by drthor   Thumbnail by drthor         
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StillPlaysWDirt

StillPlaysWDirt
(Becky), Lipan, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 19, 2014
1:45 PM

Post #9793172

Wow! I have tomato envy!

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