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Posted: 3/3/2011 11:36:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/31/2011 9:33:52 AM EST by hondaciv]
I guess I'm going to start an ongoing thread about my garden this year. So here it is!

This is my first "real" garden. I've planted tomato plants in the past, but I'm going for a complete garden. I am following the book, "Square Foot Gardening."

The basic premise is row gardening is a gigantic waste of space and time, and more can be done with less. You build yourself 4x4 boxes, fill it 6 inches deep of "soil" (peat moss, vermiculite, and compost), draw a grid in your box and plant away. Theres of course a little more to it than that, but that's it in a nutshell.

I will post pics and update this thread as work continues.

Here are some of my planter boards I cut yesterday. I am starting with pine with a coating of linseed oil. It is my pilot garden, and dont want to get crazy with pressure treated wood or more permanent stone planters.


The mix. Called "Mels Mix" in the book. Lowes and Home Depot didnt carry vermiculite in quantity, so I need to call some nurseries.


My compost pile. The compost from this pile will be used to replenish the planting boxes after harvesting. The large dirt spot is where I just got done grinding down the Hackberry tree that fell on my house last winter.


Larger view of my backyard, with a look at the other stump I ground down. Not sure what kind of tree it was, it was an old stump. Yellow/orange sawdust from it, and it was hard as hell to grind.


Update 1

Adding more linseed oil. On the right are the slats that will lay on top of the two 4x4' boxes in a grid. That will divide the box into 16 1' squares. In each square goes whatever you want to plant. Square Foot gardening.


The two 4x4' boxes ready for the grid, and then planting. Hopefully tomorrow.


These are 2 2'x2' potato boxes. The theory is to let the plant grow up, instead of growing down. As the potato plants grow, you keep adding soil and 2x6 boards. Then come harvest time, you unscrew the 2x6's from one side of the planter, and there's your potatoes.


The problem with this method, as I've discovered, is you have to have a place to store all the dirt you will need to add as the plant grows. Here's the rest of the mix under a tarp until I can mix it. The solution I thought of was to buy 2 garbage cans to store the mix in there until it's needed.


UPDATE 2

I kind of skipped a few days in this post, so I will backfill it a bit.

I planted on the 9th and 10th. The starter plants (which I should have grown from seed inside, but I started this too late) are the cabbage, the red and green peppers, and the tomatoes went in on the 9th. The onions and potatoes also went in on the 9th. The seeds on the 10th.

Here is a picture of the potatoes going in their box. I planted 5 plants per 2x2' planter.


Here are some of the starter plants (cabbage and peppers)


So skip ahead to today. This is what it looks like.

The Red Potato box plants are growing well. It's time to add another 2x6 board to this box.


And done. One more row of 2x6's added, and the plants buried again. This method allegedly forces the plant to keep growing higher, leaving a nice long root system for it to grow potatoes.


The White Potatoes aren't growing as fast. I am not sure why. Perhaps its just the type?


And we have plants! The damn squirrels are wrecking a lot of my stuff. I have several anti-squirrel measures in play.
From left to right, back to front:
Cucumber, Cucumber, Bean, Bean
Spinach, Spinach, Carrot, Carrot
Red Onion, Red Onion, Cabbage, Cabbage
Red Bell Pepper, Fajita Bell Pepper, Cabbage, Cabbage


And the second planter. Again, lots of squirrel damage.
From left to right, back to front:
Yellow Squash, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, Zucchini
Pea, Pea, Cauliflower, Cauliflower
Lettuce, Lettuce, Broccoli, Broccoli
Lettuce, Lettuce, Radish, Pepper


And finally, the two Tomato plants. There's already several green tomatoes growing on them. In the background (can't see it) is a struggling watermelon plant.







Link Posted: 3/3/2011 11:40:52 AM EST
Be sure to avoid hybrid plants. You want something you can replant every year.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 11:42:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/3/2011 11:53:48 AM EST by MarkNH]
Here's some inspiration for you, hope your garden does well and I will be checking back for updates









Link Posted: 3/3/2011 11:44:53 AM EST
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 11:45:11 AM EST
Is that rhubarb? GOD I love rhubarb pie.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 11:55:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By XCRmonger:
Is that rhubarb? GOD I love rhubarb pie.

Swiss chard. Might try growing some rhubarb this year. This will also be the third year for our asparagus bed so we should get our first good crop of that too.

I want to be gardening now but this is how it looks outside at the moment:

Link Posted: 3/3/2011 11:56:07 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/3/2011 11:57:06 AM EST by XCRmonger]
Originally Posted By MarkNH:

Originally Posted By XCRmonger:
Is that rhubarb? GOD I love rhubarb pie.

Swiss chard. Might try growing some rhubarb this year. This will also be the third year for our asparagus bed so we should get our first good crop of that too.

I want to be gardening now but this is how it looks outside at the moment:



Ah. We used to put chard in beet stew. It's pretty tasty.


I will have to find some pictures of the family garden we had. It was like a jungle. Horse manure is a great fertilizer, and most horse boarding places will let you have as much as you want... for free. Ah, the good old days of shoveling horse shit in the hot sun...
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 11:56:47 AM EST
Will that yield enough food to feed you and the family?
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 11:57:53 AM EST
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 11:59:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/3/2011 12:01:21 PM EST by machinisttx]
The basic premise is row gardening is a gigantic waste of space and time, and more can be done with less.


I guess I'm wasting space then.

Last year:




This year:



+


SFG works great if you're limited on space. If you have space, especially where it's not convenient to drag a hose, then more space means less water usage. Space the plants appropriately for best results.

You might visit the food and garden forum.... http://www.ar15.com/forums/forum.html?b=10&f=19

ETA: first garden patch is about 40x60, the second is probably 40x80.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:01:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/3/2011 12:02:32 PM EST by SparticleBrane]
You know we have a Food and Garden Section right?

edit: Darn, beat by a few seconds.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:06:02 PM EST
Have you found a good local source for vermiculite?
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:07:14 PM EST
Originally Posted By machinisttx:
The basic premise is row gardening is a gigantic waste of space and time, and more can be done with less.


I guess I'm wasting space then.

Last year:
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b20/imakechips/garden/100_1827.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b20/imakechips/garden/June%2014%202010/100_1875.jpg

This year:
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b20/imakechips/garden/garden%202011/DSC_0242.jpg

+
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b20/imakechips/garden/garden%202011/DSC_0243.jpg

SFG works great if you're limited on space. If you have space, especially where it's not convenient to drag a hose, then more space means less water usage. Space the plants appropriately for best results.

You might visit the food and garden forum.... http://www.ar15.com/forums/forum.html?b=10&f=19

ETA: first garden patch is about 40x60, the second is probably 40x80.


NIce! I used to farm my last acre of land, but stopped the last few years. Thinking of doing it again this year since food prices are so damn high. Nothing like homegrown potatoes and sweet corn, can't beat that freshness from garden to plate in an hour. The wife and I suck at long term storage, so we never did reap the full benefits of being able to grow enough vegetables to last us the entire year.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:09:36 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:15:18 PM EST
Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
Have you found a good local source for vermiculite?


Yeah, I just bought 8 cu ft at a local nursery. Now I just need 4 more and I'm good to go.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:18:27 PM EST
Used the book years ago and built the planters. Then my son wanted to plant tropical fruit trees after my wife died. We still have 2 lemons, 4 guava, 1 cheremoya, 2 santa rosa plum, 1 lime, 1 tangerine, 1 pomegranate. The woman next door complained that I also had bees - so I gave them to the neighbor on the other side - all this on a hillside lot in West Los Angeles. Go for it!
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:20:18 PM EST
Originally Posted By bdcochran01:
Used the book years ago and built the planters. Then my son wanted to plant tropical fruit trees after my wife died. We still have 2 lemons, 4 guava, 1 cheremoya, 2 santa rosa plum, 1 lime, 1 tangerine, 1 pomegranate. The woman next door complained that I also had bees - so I gave them to the neighbor on the other side - all this on a hillside lot in West Los Angeles. Go for it!


Fail. you should have released the bees in her home.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:21:29 PM EST
My grand dad used to grow potatoes in a big plastic barrel. IIRC, he planted one or a few plants in the bottom and kept adding soil. When it was finally full he'd dump the works out, it's a good way to grow a lot of potatoes in a small space.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:23:03 PM EST
Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
Have you found a good local source for vermiculite?


Yeah, I just bought 8 cu ft at a local nursery. Now I just need 4 more and I'm good to go.


It's the "secret ingredient".
Make sure you get the coarse grade, not the fine stuff they sell for starting and potting.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:23:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By Steelblitz:
Originally Posted By machinisttx:
The basic premise is row gardening is a gigantic waste of space and time, and more can be done with less.


I guess I'm wasting space then.

Last year:
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b20/imakechips/garden/100_1827.jpg

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b20/imakechips/garden/June%2014%202010/100_1875.jpg

This year:
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b20/imakechips/garden/garden%202011/DSC_0242.jpg

+
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b20/imakechips/garden/garden%202011/DSC_0243.jpg

SFG works great if you're limited on space. If you have space, especially where it's not convenient to drag a hose, then more space means less water usage. Space the plants appropriately for best results.

You might visit the food and garden forum.... http://www.ar15.com/forums/forum.html?b=10&f=19

ETA: first garden patch is about 40x60, the second is probably 40x80.


NIce! I used to farm my last acre of land, but stopped the last few years. Thinking of doing it again this year since food prices are so damn high. Nothing like homegrown potatoes and sweet corn, can't beat that freshness from garden to plate in an hour. The wife and I suck at long term storage, so we never did reap the full benefits of being able to grow enough vegetables to last us the entire year.

We canned a little bit last year, did some dehydrating, and froze some as well. Just measured the first patch and found out that it's actually 50x80. The second one is about the same width, but longer. Mine are small compared to the other five or so my parents and uncle will have.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:27:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/3/2011 12:34:34 PM EST by hondaciv]
Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
Have you found a good local source for vermiculite?


Yeah, I just bought 8 cu ft at a local nursery. Now I just need 4 more and I'm good to go.


It's the "secret ingredient".
Make sure you get the coarse grade, not the fine stuff they sell for starting and potting.




I just checked, and what I bought was "medium" grade. Will that be ok? Thanks for reminding me about that.

ETA: Nevermind. Just found a place that has it here in Dallas. They have other locations around the country too. It's the right stuff, and way cheaper than what I paid for it.

Link
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:35:08 PM EST

Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Originally Posted By ColonelHurtz:
Have you found a good local source for vermiculite?


Yeah, I just bought 8 cu ft at a local nursery. Now I just need 4 more and I'm good to go.


It's the "secret ingredient".
Make sure you get the coarse grade, not the fine stuff they sell for starting and potting.




I just checked, and what I bought was "medium" grade. Will that be ok? Thanks for reminding me about that.
I told you in your other thread that the vermiculite would be a PITA to source.
I'm glad I went with potting soil on mine.

Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:40:00 PM EST
Man, between this garden thread and the cat thread the other night, you have SHTF on the mind lately it seems?


Pics of the SHTF gun set ups?
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:42:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/3/2011 12:42:28 PM EST by elevenbangbang]
Black Kow is good shit, literally.

Add that to some of the aforementioned free horse shit and you'll be good to go.

We just planted ours (in Houston) and we made sure to keep it out of too much late afternoon sun. The intense heat the last two summers wasn't great for gardening.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:43:28 PM EST
How are you keeping pests out???
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:45:55 PM EST
How do you plan to keep cats opossums out?
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:46:02 PM EST
Originally Posted By Foxnews_FTW:
Man, between this garden thread and the cat thread the other night, you have SHTF on the mind lately it seems?


Pics of the SHTF gun set ups?


Ah, I see someone is paying attention.

Yes, in fact. SHTF prep is in 100% full swing. I will not be the guy waiting on the proverbial roof hoping someone rescues us. Shit is getting bad, and we need to prepare.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:46:52 PM EST
Originally Posted By Mattl:
How are you keeping pests out???


Marigolds, basil, and onions keep bad bugs out.

Morning glories, nasturtium, cosmos, and zinnias attract good bugs.

Companion Planting
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:47:11 PM EST
Originally Posted By 70satvert:
How do you plan to keep cats opossums out?


Good question. I will use chicken wire I believe (that is if plan A doesn't work. )
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:48:57 PM EST
You've come a long way since your white guilt driven rants during your opossum fearin days!
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:52:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Originally Posted By 70satvert:
How do you plan to keep cats opossums out?


Good question. I will use chicken wire I believe (that is if plan A doesn't work. )

Definitely looks like a cool and very useful project. Good luck with it. Keep us updated.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:54:38 PM EST


Good work fella.

I am just waiting for Ty Pennington to come and knock at my door.

When he does I'm going to tell him a sob story about straight pull rifles and, firearms licensing and ammo restrictions.

I'm going to get him to build me a nuclear bunker, a rocket pod to an orbiting space garden and a big fuck off ammo fort.

I also want automatic remote Dillon Aeros on my wire with claymores and and a firebase on the hillside.

I'll even let the ghey one decorate the inside of the bunker and and the weepy one do some woodwork to make it look like decking.

My wife is the one with green fingers so I'll need them to put together a decent space suit for her to get to the space garden while I am re-filling magazines.

It's gonna be beautiful and when they move the bus, I know I'm gonna cry.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 12:58:42 PM EST
Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Originally Posted By 70satvert:
How do you plan to keep cats opossums out?


Good question. I will use chicken wire I believe (that is if plan A doesn't work. )




Do hot peppers or the like deter pest? Perhaps 2 or 3 of those motion activated sprayers with overlapping F-O-Fs would be a good idea. Ground red pepper mixed in the soil perhaps???
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:00:36 PM EST
Nice looking garden HC. I'm about to get mine busted up with the Yanmar.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:05:27 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mattl:
Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Originally Posted By 70satvert:
How do you plan to keep cats opossums out?


Good question. I will use chicken wire I believe (that is if plan A doesn't work. )




Do hot peppers or the like deter pest? Perhaps 2 or 3 of those motion activated sprayers with overlapping F-O-Fs would be a good idea. Ground red pepper mixed in the soil perhaps???

Fence it off to keep animals out. Intersperse the plants mentioned above to repel bugs. Nothing else(that I know of) is going to work.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:19:07 PM EST
This is the stuff I use:



[

My mix looks like this:

Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:22:36 PM EST


Cute garden. I started working a 60ft wide flower bed last year and gave up after my first truck load of peat moss and the temps got into the 90's. I may have to get some decomposed granite and follow suit.

All of mine is still indoors. I've got 360 seedlings stashed at a separate location.

Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:22:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Originally Posted By 70satvert:
How do you plan to keep cats opossums out?


Good question. I will use chicken wire I believe (that is if plan A doesn't work. )


" plan A ? " . . . . . . how bout Plan_A ? That's where you allow a troll to hang out in your garden and he just annoys all the critters away ?

Seriously though , nice start . You Southerners get a head start on us being down there .

Yesterday , our yard looked like this :



...so we've got a few more days before we can start our little "Victory Garden"

I have all the trees I fell when I cleared my shooting lane , and I'll sink em and run wire fence around what I think is going to be about 20x20 or so .

The wifey cant wait and I'm pretty stoked too .

Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:27:04 PM EST
I wouldn't sweat the vermiculite too much as long as you're using a good peat mix. Mine has a lot of pearlite in it. You could get away with expanded shale, you're just trying to create some additional porosity. Heck, straight peat works pretty good too.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:28:38 PM EST
Grow a cover crop to shade the roots of the veggies. In the boxes, if the soil temp gets too high, it can screw with your plants.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:28:59 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:29:04 PM EST
Originally Posted By steinlok87:
Will that yield enough food to feed you and the family?


According to the book, two 4'x4' squares will produce enough food for 2 people (my wife and I) to make a salad every day for the entire growing season.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:31:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By 1776-1865_RIP:
You've come a long way since your white guilt driven rants during your opossum fearin days!


I have come a long way. I admit it. in just 3 or so years I barely recognize even myself.

I'm doing my best to learn, and understand what is really going on.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:31:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By ultramagbrion:
Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Originally Posted By 70satvert:
How do you plan to keep cats opossums out?


Good question. I will use chicken wire I believe (that is if plan A doesn't work. )


" plan A ? " . . . . . . how bout Plan_A ? That's where you allow a troll to hang out in your garden and he just annoys all the critters away ?

Seriously though , nice start . You Southerners get a head start on us being down there .

Yesterday , our yard looked like this :

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y214/ultramagbrion/BlusteryDay020.jpg

...so we've got a few more days before we can start our little "Victory Garden"

I have all the trees I fell when I cleared my shooting lane , and I'll sink em and run wire fence around what I think is going to be about 20x20 or so .

The wifey cant wait and I'm pretty stoked too .


Our season starts earlier, and ends earlier. The heat in July/August will reduce growth and output by quite a bit. No rain puts a hurt on us too.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:31:49 PM EST
WOW! That's a work of art.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:34:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Originally Posted By steinlok87:
Will that yield enough food to feed you and the family?


According to the book, two 4'x4' squares will produce enough food for 2 people (my wife and I) to make a salad every day for the entire growing season.

How many are you going to make/plant?
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:37:04 PM EST
Originally Posted By machinisttx:

Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Originally Posted By steinlok87:
Will that yield enough food to feed you and the family?


According to the book, two 4'x4' squares will produce enough food for 2 people (my wife and I) to make a salad every day for the entire growing season.

How many are you going to make/plant?


I was going to start with two 4x4's, and two 2x2's (build as you go) potato boxes. The book says to start small, and I can see the wisdom in that, even though I REALLY want to make dozens of 4x4s
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:45:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Originally Posted By machinisttx:

Originally Posted By hondaciv:
Originally Posted By steinlok87:
Will that yield enough food to feed you and the family?


According to the book, two 4'x4' squares will produce enough food for 2 people (my wife and I) to make a salad every day for the entire growing season.

How many are you going to make/plant?


I was going to start with two 4x4's, and two 2x2's (build as you go) potato boxes. The book says to start small, and I can see the wisdom in that, even though I REALLY want to make dozens of 4x4s

You will have significantly less work using raised beds than those of us doing standard row gardening. You won't have any weeds to worry about...and that's a battle I lost last year. I will suggest however, that if you plant very much, try to stagger your planting or plant varieties so that they don't produce all at once. Everything I planted began producing at the same time last year, and after a certain point, it was just impossible to keep up with.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 1:58:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By machinisttx:

Our season starts earlier, and ends earlier. The heat in July/August will reduce growth and output by quite a bit. No rain puts a hurt on us too.


Oh....yeah ( duh) I didnt even think about that

My thumb is black....dead black . Thank God for Dianne as I couldnt even grow mold with a ton of unrefrigerated cheese in the summer

Link Posted: 3/3/2011 2:08:43 PM EST
Originally Posted By joemama74:
I wouldn't sweat the vermiculite too much as long as you're using a good peat mix. Mine has a lot of pearlite in it. You could get away with expanded shale, you're just trying to create some additional porosity. Heck, straight peat works pretty good too.


I don't like pearlite.
It tends to separate and float up out of the mix.
Link Posted: 3/3/2011 2:15:58 PM EST
Q :

In a raised bed garden , can you use railroad ties ? Will the creasote ( sp?) in the ties mess with the plants ??
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