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  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 22,272 Member Member Posts: 22,272 Member
    I am just a beginning gardener, and I'm moving to a place soon where the only gardening I'll be able to do, at least for a year, is in some elevated beds. I'd really like to grow some veggies. Anyone have some easy/foolproof veggies or fruits that will grow okay in elevated beds? (I'm in US gardening zone 6a.)

    Editing to add: The large bed is 8x2', and then there are two 1x2' planters.

    I have lots of veggies and herbs in 6" deep beds. Tomatoes and root vegetables would like deeper beds.

    Here in Massachusetts, Swiss chard is foolproof. Bugs and woodchucks leave it alone. You can plant it in April and while it will stop growing when it gets cold, it has to be super cold (and wet) to kill it, so I'm usually still making Swiss chard casserole in Nov/Dec. In warmer months I put it in smoothies. You can also substitute it for spinach in most recipes (it does not cook down quite as much.)

    As a beginning gardener, you won't make this mistake, but this year I bought what I thought were Swiss chard seedlings without looking at the tag and they turned out to be beets. Fortunately, beets greens work just as well in smoothies and steamed/sauteed.

    For easy perennials: strawberries, chives, scallions, oregano. Thyme can be invasive. Anything in the mint family is SUPER invasive - best to quarantine it.

    If you join a local FB gardening group you will likely be able to pick up lots of perennial plants for free from gardeners who are thinning. If something needs to be thinned, that generally means it is easy...which might be synonymous for invasive ;)
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 22,272 Member Member Posts: 22,272 Member
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    At the moment, I have a green bean forest in my garden. Good grief, what am I going to do with them all???? They don't freeze that well, do they?

    I've been planning for my upcoming green bean explosion by stocking up on recipes :)

    https://whatscookingamerica.net/Appetizers/GreenBeanPate.htm (Someone at a vegetarian yoga center used to make a very yummy green bean pate. I doubt it had eggs like this recipe. I don't have her recipe, but this one looks close. I think I'd use more beans and less onions.)

    If you like Asian food, LMK and I will get you the recipe if you can't see this. It calls for a pound of green beans to 4 oz ground pork - I also add 4 oz ground turkey to up the protein and serve with rice for a complete meal. https://www.177milkstreet.com/recipes/stir-fried-pork-oyster-sauce-green-beans

    https://food52.com/recipes/81711-pesto-pasta-with-green-beans-potatoes-from-nancy-harmon-jenkins I like my beans crunchy so add the pasta and give it a few minutes head start before adding the beans. I think I double or triple the beans. Sometimes I use a can of white beans instead of the potatoes.

    Similar recipe as above; different cooking method. Uses pre-made pesto and adds yogurt: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/69446/pesto-pasta-with-green-beans-and-potatoes/

    (In my case it is actually purple pole beans. They are easier to harvest because of the color and height. They turn green-ish when cooked.)

    https://www.burpee.com/vegetables/beans/bean-pole-purple-king--prod000595.html

    PurplePoddedPole_1024x1024.jpg?v=1582495067
    edited July 27
  • ReenieHJReenieHJ Member Posts: 2,167 Member Member Posts: 2,167 Member
    @kshama2001 Thank you for sharing all those links!!
  • mbaker566mbaker566 Member Posts: 11,097 Member Member Posts: 11,097 Member
    tomatoes and pumpkin bloom
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  • LoveyCharLoveyChar Member Posts: 1,147 Member Member Posts: 1,147 Member
    LoveyChar wrote: »
    I potted 4 rosemary seeds today. I won't over water this time. Lavender is looking great, no flowers yet but thriving, and parsley is growing.dlhwldh3dnta.jpg
    w2c2q70urxcj.jpg



    In just 30 days, lavender is flourishing. I have a rosemary seedling and hopefully more coming. rj3muquh02s2.jpg


    I had to rip out the cherry tomato plant. Animals (possibly birds) got to it and bent it and it was suffering. I'm using that vacant space to grow sweet potatoes as soon as my slips are ready. Jalapeno pepper plant is doing well. Bell Pepper plants are growing. I only started the seed in May so I'm way behind but in Texas it stays hot most of the year. Even chilly is still warm in my opinion, having been raised in the north. I'd like to grow some cayenne and habanero peppers plus eggplant somewhat soon. I have some pots to work with if need be. pjws5lvuhg6x.jpg


    I'm growing sweet potato slips.q924csq7qu0w.jpg

    edited July 31
  • ReenieHJReenieHJ Member Posts: 2,167 Member Member Posts: 2,167 Member
    @lovelychar How did you get your sweet potato slips going?? I tried to do that a few months ago and all they did was rot? Did you simply get a regular sweet potato from the store? When I looked for the how-tos online it said you could either do a whole potato or cut it in 1/2 so I did the 1/2. Not sure if that's my mistake? Also, I didn't buy an organic potato or anything?

    I still really love(!!) your corner space and have the perfect corner for something like that, even picturing in my head what I could plant there. :) But I also picture having to buy 100 bags of gardening soil. :/
  • ReenieHJReenieHJ Member Posts: 2,167 Member Member Posts: 2,167 Member
    I must be losing it. I bought 2 packets of cucumber seeds and planted them in a garden bed and in the corner of my garden. I have some great looking plants coming(sorry no pictures) with tons(uhoh) of baby cucumbers on 3 of the mounds. But 1 of them is growing something else, maybe pumpkins. Lol I had no clue or memory of planting pumpkins. But they're taking over some of my garden. Oops.
  • vamanvaman Member Posts: 220 Member Member Posts: 220 Member
    Could have been mixed in with the cuke seeds or maybe just a volunteer.....either way,,,Happy Haloween.
  • icemom011icemom011 Member Posts: 937 Member Member Posts: 937 Member
    Cucumber seeds are very different from pumpkin. Could be birds or squirrels or something like that accidentally planting it?
  • LoveyCharLoveyChar Member Posts: 1,147 Member Member Posts: 1,147 Member
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    @lovelychar How did you get your sweet potato slips going?? I tried to do that a few months ago and all they did was rot? Did you simply get a regular sweet potato from the store? When I looked for the how-tos online it said you could either do a whole potato or cut it in 1/2 so I did the 1/2. Not sure if that's my mistake? Also, I didn't buy an organic potato or anything?

    I still really love(!!) your corner space and have the perfect corner for something like that, even picturing in my head what I could plant there. :) But I also picture having to buy 100 bags of gardening soil. :/

    I did buy an organic sweet potato. Also I would recommend not cutting it. You can reuse the same sweet potato over and over to grow slips. I'm only going to use maybe 7 or 8 slips because I don't have much room left. if I lived closer to you, I'd give you the majority of what this will likely produce. It's grown even more today!
  • LoveyCharLoveyChar Member Posts: 1,147 Member Member Posts: 1,147 Member
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    @lovelychar How did you get your sweet potato slips going?? I tried to do that a few months ago and all they did was rot? Did you simply get a regular sweet potato from the store? When I looked for the how-tos online it said you could either do a whole potato or cut it in 1/2 so I did the 1/2. Not sure if that's my mistake? Also, I didn't buy an organic potato or anything?

    I still really love(!!) your corner space and have the perfect corner for something like that, even picturing in my head what I could plant there. :) But I also picture having to buy 100 bags of gardening soil. :/

    I wanted to add two important things: I change the water every Thursday, same day every week whether it looks like it needs it or not (I just use city water out of the tap). And two, I read a blog this woman wrote about her experience with sweet potato size and their slips and the outcome in size of the potato and she said that the big and the small both produced small so she uses a medium and it works best for her to produce nice sized sweet potatoes. I used a medium size, four toothpicks (3 would work) to elevate potato, a mason jar and potato half in water and half elevated above. It takes a month or so.
  • moonangel12moonangel12 Member, Premium Posts: 854 Member Member, Premium Posts: 854 Member
    Evidently my corn is ready - the squirrels are stealing it!! Grew some blue corn for blue cornbread, just for fun. The stalks are pitiful, but at least they grew a few ears. Going to go ahead and harvest them... not sure to just pull up the stalks and hang dry? Or individual ears and lay them out?
  • ReenieHJReenieHJ Member Posts: 2,167 Member Member Posts: 2,167 Member
    LoveyChar wrote: »
    ReenieHJ wrote: »
    @lovelychar How did you get your sweet potato slips going?? I tried to do that a few months ago and all they did was rot? Did you simply get a regular sweet potato from the store? When I looked for the how-tos online it said you could either do a whole potato or cut it in 1/2 so I did the 1/2. Not sure if that's my mistake? Also, I didn't buy an organic potato or anything?

    I still really love(!!) your corner space and have the perfect corner for something like that, even picturing in my head what I could plant there. :) But I also picture having to buy 100 bags of gardening soil. :/

    I wanted to add two important things: I change the water every Thursday, same day every week whether it looks like it needs it or not (I just use city water out of the tap). And two, I read a blog this woman wrote about her experience with sweet potato size and their slips and the outcome in size of the potato and she said that the big and the small both produced small so she uses a medium and it works best for her to produce nice sized sweet potatoes. I used a medium size, four toothpicks (3 would work) to elevate potato, a mason jar and potato half in water and half elevated above. It takes a month or so.

    Thanks so much :) I'll need to keep this info for next year. For some reason sweet potato plants are hard to come by in our region and I couldn't find any by the time I knew my potato wasn't going to sprout forth and multiply. :/
  • ReenieHJReenieHJ Member Posts: 2,167 Member Member Posts: 2,167 Member
    icemom011 wrote: »
    Cucumber seeds are very different from pumpkin. Could be birds or squirrels or something like that accidentally planting it?

    I know! :) So I'm not sure what happened. Maybe I had a loss of memory or something. Been known to happen once or twice. :blush:
  • Katmary71Katmary71 Member Posts: 3,791 Member Member Posts: 3,791 Member
    OK my people, out of curiosity if you got a package of seeds from China wouldn't you be tempted to keep a couple and try growing them in a pot to see what they are? I've read enough to know it's probably not smart but I'd be so tempted!
  • moonangel12moonangel12 Member, Premium Posts: 854 Member Member, Premium Posts: 854 Member
    Katmary71 wrote: »
    OK my people, out of curiosity if you got a package of seeds from China wouldn't you be tempted to keep a couple and try growing them in a pot to see what they are? I've read enough to know it's probably not smart but I'd be so tempted!
    I have thought the same thing! One guy in Arkansas(?? Can’t remember for sure) did, before he knew what was going on. I think they dug up the plants... he said they looked like a type of cucumber.

    Sounds like they have started identifying some of them, and it’s different plants, likely being sent just for bogus online reviews. My copy and paste isn’t working right, but it’s searchable.

  • earlnabbyearlnabby Member Posts: 8,053 Member Member Posts: 8,053 Member
    Has anyone had blossom drop in your tomatoes? I planted 4 plants: 2 Rutgers (heirloom red slicers), 1 yellow pear, and one Lemon Boy (yellow slicer). My plants have all thrived but the Lemon Boy has not set a single fruit. All the rest are setting lots of fruit and I have just started harvesting so I know the problem is not the soil, water, or nutrients. I am wondering if the Lemon Boy was just not the right variety for my space. I have never had this issue in 40 years of growing tomatoes (off and on depending on where I was living). I pulled it out yesterday. If it hasn't set fruit yet, it is not worth it.

    Any thoughts?
  • ReenieHJReenieHJ Member Posts: 2,167 Member Member Posts: 2,167 Member
    Having our 1st cucumber out of our garden for dinner tonight and it's so much better than store bought. :) Been eating cherry tomatoes too. I wish I could have a garden year round.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 16,462 Member Member, Premium Posts: 16,462 Member
    earlnabby wrote: »
    Has anyone had blossom drop in your tomatoes? I planted 4 plants: 2 Rutgers (heirloom red slicers), 1 yellow pear, and one Lemon Boy (yellow slicer). My plants have all thrived but the Lemon Boy has not set a single fruit. All the rest are setting lots of fruit and I have just started harvesting so I know the problem is not the soil, water, or nutrients. I am wondering if the Lemon Boy was just not the right variety for my space. I have never had this issue in 40 years of growing tomatoes (off and on depending on where I was living). I pulled it out yesterday. If it hasn't set fruit yet, it is not worth it.

    Any thoughts?

    Welllll . . . it still could be weather-related, or nutrient related. Usually blossom drop is a stress reaction of some kind, and it's absolutely the case that different varieties have different heat preferences, different resistances to diseases, different sensitivities to nutrient deficiences or other sub-ideal conditions, etc. Plants are weird. ;)

    ETA: Could try hand pollinating, if you can catch 'em at the right time.
    edited August 4
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