Barn Love

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Coop Planting Guide

So.. this post is a little late. But, better late than never, right?

 It occurred to me as I was getting ready to do a "Garden Update" that I never actually posted what we planted!

Farmerboy and I buy starter plants from a local farmer. We tried growing plants from seeds a few years back and weren't pleased with the results. It was really time consuming, and we ultimately didn't wind up with a lot of decent plants to plant in our outside garden.  I doubt we will try this method again in the future, unless our son wants to try it.

We planted each of our plants the same depth down into the dirt - about 6 inches, or the length of a small garden shovel handle.

Here's a quick run down of what we're growing at Bengie's Farm this year.


Planting Guide:

We dig about 6 inches down, enough to just cover to where the base of the plant begins. The spacing, if using cages like we did, is about 15 inches apart. Not caged should be about 24- 36 inches apart.  Tomatoes are also notorious for loving full sun, so make sure you choose a sunny spot for yours.

I don't eat tomatoes. Yes, go ahead and throw things at me! I will also now confess that I don't eat eggs either.  However, these guys are a great way to finish off a salad - if they make it that far. Farmerboy eats half of the basket every time we pick them!  We planted cherry and beefsteak tomatoes. We don't can tomatoes or make sauces, so these are the best choices for us.


Planting Guide:

About 6 inches down.  We use trellises for our cucumbers, so ours are about 18 inches apart, otherwise, leave about 36 inches between plants. Cucumbers also love full sun, so they make a good neighboring plant for tomatoes. 

It's a little hard to see in the picture (my apologies) but on the left we did All Season Burpless and on the right, Pickling. We are of the opinion that there isn't too much difference between the two. We eat and can with both equally and really can't tell a difference.  It's possible that in general the pickling ones tend to be a bit smaller, but that's all in how much you monitor and pick them too.  These are also hard to resist eating when they are freshly picked.


Planting Guide:

6 inches down with 16 inches of spacing between the plants. Another full sun loving crop.

I don't eat cantaloupe either... are you noticing a pattern? Just about everyone else around here does, so we plant them.  I feel as though these take FOREVER to grow and don't usually yield many melons.


Planting Guide:

Plant about 6 inches down with a plant spacing between 12 and 18 inches. Squash plants thrive in full sun. 

Yes, something else that I actually eat.  Squash and zucchini are almost always our first plants to produce. We are always so excited when this happens, even though we always wind up with them coming our of our ears. We like to dice with onions and grill it. We also like to make a vegetable tian with squash and zucchini. It's delicious.

Planting Guide: 

Plant about 6 inches down with a plant spacing between 12 and 18 inches. Plant in an area with full sun.

Can we say Zucchini Bread? We also have a recipe for relish that is delicious. Between these two things and the vegetable tian I mentioned before the zucchini tends to go pretty quickly.

Though, both the squash and the zucchini plants tend to produce for about a month after the initial showing.

Planting Guide:

Plant with the pointed top just even with the surface of the soil, and about 3-4 inches of staggered spacing in between plants. Onions also like full sun, but are able to tolerate some shade.

This is our first year trying these. We saw them and thought, why not? 

This is where the pictures stopped. Perhaps our photographer was too busy with planting and got distracted. Not that that EVER happens around here. We also planted a total of 36, yes 36 pepper plants, watermelon, and green bean seeds. Why so many pepper plants? We LOVE fresh peppers, and we cut and freeze as many as possible. Last year we grew and froze so many peppers that it wasn't until a few weeks ago that we ran out. It pains me to pay $1.00 per pepper when I can get a plant for $2.50. 

Pepper, Watermelon and Green Bean Guide:

Plant peppers about 6 inches down with 12 inches of spacing between them. Plant watermelon plants 6 inches down with 18 inches between the plants. Green bean seeds were planted about 1 inch down with a 4 inch separation between seeds.  All three of these plants also enjoy full sun. 

All of the plants that we bought had instructions on how to plant them. However, we also use a book called The Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Edward C. Smith.  This book tells us a little more about how to water, what plants are good neighbors/adversaries, how to harvest, and even how to make a raised bed.

This is what our garden space looked like when we were all finished planting. 

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