Author Topic: Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?  (Read 1340 times)

William S.

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Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?
« on: 2020-03-29, 10:35:26 PM »
What are you planting differently than you would have?

I'm thinking about maybe adopting more of a practical food focus.

Maybe not quite so experimental as I am sometimes.

That might mean potatoes, carrots, sweet corn, domestic tomatoes, winter squash, spaghetti squash, summer squash, spinach, orach, green beans, siberian kale, and beets.

I mean of course after all the odd stuff I have already planted or started.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Ferdzy

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Re: Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?
« Reply #1 on: 2020-03-30, 07:40:37 AM »
We already plan our garden to minimize the number of vegetables we have to buy, so no real difference here. In fact, we are trying out a lot of new beans. Of course, they are a pretty safe bet - we're going to get beans, barring disaster. We did squeeze in some hulless barley, but we did that because we already wanted to.

I'm writing from a Canadian perspective. All incoming travel was banned jusssst before all the migrant workers were due to arrive and there was quite a bit of alarm on the part of farmers, who rely completely on them. I'm talking about fruits and vegetables. Meat, grains, and legumes are fairly mechanized and/or mass processed and can work with local labour. Fortunately, the government relented and allowed them an exemption, although they are going to have to self-isolate on their destination farm for 2 weeks. So I am no longer worried about a big shortage of locally grown produce here the way I was at the beginning.

However, without imported produce (and I do expect a lot of disruption in the US and Mexico, where most of it comes from) there will be a hell of a lot more people looking for the local produce. I expect prices to rise, and rise substantially.

I expect the small local market gardeners who employ local people and already charge accordingly will have a bumper year, at least so far as demand goes. If they can handle it, I hope it will have lasting effects.

I also tend to think that the more labour intensive it is, the more it will be disrupted. So I expect berries and fruit, and leafy greens etc to suffer the most. Things like potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, etc should still be fairly available. I would hope.


William S.

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Re: Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?
« Reply #2 on: 2020-03-30, 08:33:47 AM »
Hmm, maybe I shouldn't spend too much time or space on potatoes. Though would like some seed potatoes.

Squash help me in that I do think they deter deer. So I may still grow an extremely large amount of squash- and they are easy.

Have a contract for sweet corn and another for tomato seed. Tomato seed you can still eat the tomato sans seeds.

Fruit is pretty consistent year to year, though not our harvesting of it.

Leafy greens, hmm. I'm at a low for seed. Might need to pick up some packets. Also other salad type vegetables.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

Ferdzy

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Re: Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?
« Reply #3 on: 2020-03-30, 08:38:41 AM »
Don't wait with your seed shopping! I'm checking on various on-line seed companies, and even the most obscure seem to be overwhelmed with orders. Errybody starting a garden this year!

B. Copping

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Re: Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?
« Reply #4 on: 2020-03-30, 11:50:22 AM »
Yes.

Unable to access to greenhouse space due to closures.
Ill be killing a larger number of seedlings than usual, due to space and north facing windows.
No bales of Promix when I went shopping, so Miraclegro it is. :(

Kim K.

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Re: Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?
« Reply #5 on: 2020-03-30, 11:55:54 AM »
Similarly to Ferdzy, we already plan our garden to minimize the amount of vegetables we have to buy. Although right now we are only year-round self-sufficient on turnips, garlic and tomatoes. Every year I try to become self-sufficient on another crop. We were all set to produce massive amounts of blackberries and raspberries this year until a rogue motorist plowed them all down in the fall (my berry hedge borders the street, and doubles as a protection against dog walkers allowing their animals to shit in my vegetable garden. It also pleases passerby who can snack on the berries. ;).)

Coronavirus is inspiring me to aim for self-sufficiency in salad greens this year. Especially scallions, which we eat loads of but usually have to buy. Mine don't grow very fast, which I suspect is limited by nitrogen. I've noticed already that the grocery store tends to run out of salad greens quickly, and if trends keep up (fewer migrant farm workers due to closed borders) it could get even worse.

Note to self: seed lots of scallions. Score some soybean meal for nitrogen fertilizer.
Gardening in rocky, slightly acidic sandy loam on the southern New England coast. Zone 7a, with wicked freeze/thaw cycles all winter. 44" of precipitation spread evenly throughout the year.

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?
« Reply #6 on: 2020-03-30, 02:07:43 PM »
 I've got an enormous stash of vegetable seeds and am supplying seeds to friends and family who normally grow only flowers.

I decided I had better make sure the seeds are still viable, so I'm doing tests of half a dozen each to see if they will germinate, before I give them to people who will be very discouraged if they don't.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

rowan

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Re: Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?
« Reply #7 on: 2020-03-30, 03:26:58 PM »
I am reducing my potato beds (keeping more seed to start again) and only keeping the most promising tubers for replanting. Putting the rest of the beds into vegetables for the house and to sell. I have also put in a lot of trays of winter veggie seeds for selling as seedlings in a few weeks.
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William S.

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Re: Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?
« Reply #8 on: 2020-03-30, 03:51:05 PM »
I was contemplating a new seed order today and it boiled down to salad greens and carrots. Last I knew still plenty of seed racks in stores here. So maybe I will wait and just add carrot seed and lettuce seed to the grocery list. Also need to consult with my wife. I asked her to pick up a few packets as she went to the store last. She got us broccoli, and dill, but misplaced a packet of beet seed. I have a cold so wasn't allowed to go. I am really torn about a few possibilities like if we want to grow a few onions. I generally don't do well with fresh onion and neither does my wife, causes reflux. However, no onion at all could be dull (it's fine if well cooked). So need to talk to her a bit...
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

spacecase0

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Re: Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?
« Reply #9 on: 2020-03-30, 07:04:33 PM »
normally I grow mostly for seeds.
this year I am going to try to grow all my own food. if I can avoid going to the grocery store, then I will be happy.
some of my breeding projects may get put on hold.
going to focus on potatoes, onions, sweet corn, and zucchini.

William S.

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Re: Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?
« Reply #10 on: 2020-04-01, 12:02:54 PM »
Starting a more advanced stats class to help with analyzing some data from last summer.

Not very advanced mind you. More like say stats 102 on a quarter system.

However in first week nonsense it just reminded me how much population size matters.

My plan for my 3/4 domestic Big Hill x tomatoes this year was to grow ALL of the seeds. Couple thousand probably. I've got a couple hundred germinated most in little clumps.

Was thinking to take the rest and direct seed them. Get that big population size.

Though maybe I should play it safe and grow out a different population direct seeded. Like I have thousands of might have crossed with wilds Big Hill and Thousands of Might have crossed with other domestics like Blue Ambrosia Big Hill. So if it's down to these three Big Hill cross populations and I want to play it safer food production wise. Or possible fourth option could be: mix the three populations and put them all in the seeder together. Then I get food with the occasional spitter? Or alternate rows.
Western Montana garden, glacial lake Missoula sediment lacustrian silty clay mollisoil sometimes with added sand in places. Zone 6A with 100 to 130 frost free days

triffid

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Re: Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?
« Reply #11 on: 2020-04-02, 06:31:56 AM »
It's definitely shifted my plans somewhat.

I normally wouldn't be planning on growing as many greens and herbs as I am now. And I'm growing more semi-storage veg like kohlrabi and celeriac, flour corn instead of sweet corn, and lots of squash.

Also a little concerned about potential theft of seed plants, i.e. someone clearing out my pea pods that were for seed increase/breeding, as I do 90% of growing on an allotment far from home. I hope my concerns are unfounded, it's just people act strangely in times like these. (Can peas bear successfully in a shaded north-facing area?  :P)
Zone 9a - brown calcareous earth, high natural fertility base-rich loam - coastal maritime climate

Diane Whitehead

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Re: Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?
« Reply #12 on: 2020-04-02, 12:51:05 PM »
I would not plant anything special, like your pea breeding stock, on the allotment.  Pea pods are so noticeable, and so easily taken.

With your maritime climate, I suppose you can grow peas all through - from early spring till first frost.  When I was breeding peas, I found I could sow the next generation as soon as the pea seeds had reached their mature size - no need to wait for them to dry down as I would if I were saving the seeds.  So I was able to grow several generations each year.

Nothing I bred was exciting, so I gave up and now just grow peas to eat - from the shoots through to the pods, and the seeds.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
cool mediterranean climate  warm dry summers, mild wet winters,  70 cm rain,   sandy soil

Ellendra

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Re: Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?
« Reply #13 on: 2020-04-02, 01:45:28 PM »
My plans have change somewhat, although not completely. I still have 5 different kinds of squash I'm planning to grow large quantities of for seed production. And I have sections set aside for my Cultivariable assignment, my Baker Creek contract, and some for my Job's Tears breeding project.

But, I'm quadrupling the amount of space dedicated to potatoes. They're a major part of my diet, but they're usually so cheap and plentiful that I mainly grew them so I could practice growing them, and so I could test different growing methods. This year, I'm planting with the assumption that there will be several waves of shutdowns, and that there will be major issues with supply lines.

As a sign of how weird things have gotten, my dad, Mr. "Why bother growing that when you can just buy it in the store", is borrowing some space on my farm to grow his own patch of potatoes!

I'm also growing wheat this year. I have some small packets I was thinking of planting as a seed increase, but when report after report showed up of stores being sold out of every kind of flour they carried, I decided it's time to go all-in. I've ordered large canisters of 2 different kinds of wheat, one spring and one winter. That should provide for most of our baking, given that we don't eat a lot of bread to begin with.

The bean and pea sections are also being increased, and I'm going to try growing carrots. I haven't planted carrots in years, but I think I've found a variety that can handle my soil. We'll see. There is a big patch of greens planned, but I'll admit most of it is for the chickens. They've been keeping us supplied with eggs since laying picked up in early February.

Oh, and there will also be more non-food plants. Useful things like soapwort, pyrethrum daisies, and luffa gourds. I'm testing 3 varieties of cotton to see if I can get them to produce here. And one variety of tobacco, even though I don't smoke. I figure it might make a good trade item.

A different kind of change to my garden plans: I'm trying to be more aggressive when it comes to pest control. I'm planting mints around the edges to help repel mice. I'm putting the squash all around the field as a border, since I've noticed the local deer don't like walking through them. And my air rifle is ready with lead-free pellets. I'm hoping to get some rabbit stew out of the deal.

Fingers crossed that the weirdness of the past few weeks turns out to be the worst it will get.

Harsh winters, high winds. Temps on the edge between zones 4 and 5. Steep, north-facing slope. Soil is high in clay and rocks. Fast draining, which is a surprise for clay soil. Indicates a sandy/gravelly layer underneath.

Gilbert Fritz

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Re: Coronavirus altering your gardening plans?
« Reply #14 on: 2020-04-08, 05:43:12 PM »
I'm not going to be doing much of any breeding this year; most of the projects will be shelved, with the exception of the "prophet Elisha project" (Buffalo Gourd wide crosses.)

I'm trying to really ramp up the amount of food we get out of the garden, so I'll be focusing on vegetables at home and winter squash and other staples on remote plots.

I got the greenhouse mostly finished, which is a plus.

I want to get started with grain corn, but have never done anything with it before. Do any of you have advice as to how to start, what varieties might do well with little care, flint vs flour, what would happen if I bought whole grain grinding corn or popcorn and planted it, etc? I'm sort on funds, thus the attraction of buying corn meant for eating (or chicken feed!) and growing it. Would I just get a big jump start on landrace starting? If I was concerned about GMO contamination (I'm not sure if I am) are there any GMO flint corns?