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Old 01-06-2011, 07:53 AM
32 posts, read 116,463 times
Reputation: 54


If today an organic cucumber cost $2.00, green pepper $2.00 etc. etc. how much do you think you will have to spend on them for your family 2 or 3 years from now? Planning ahead is a good idea don’t you agree? After getting teed off every time I went to the grocery story, I decided to create a garden and grow it myself.

I am new to gardening and I have followed the sq ft gardening method in attempting to establish a perfect vegetable garden. However I have taken it to a couple of levels higher when I built a 28" high 5 ft wide by 16 ft long raised cinder block bed filled with 10” of pea gravel and 18” of compost, Dakota peat and vermiculite. I am presently building a 15x24 hoop house with 6mil clear plastic over it to protect my investment from hail, wind, rain, sun, deer, rabbits and weeds.

I have posted “how to” videos on YouTube about how I did what I did if it helps anyone else. You may watch the videos at the following YouTube links. This is ongoing until I am completely finished with my project. Please share it with others that might be interested in finding some help in order to beat the fruit and vegetable prices that are going through the roof in the next couple of years.

[SIZE=3]Raised bed garden using cinder blocks and hoop house VIDEO ONE OF FIVE[/SIZE]


[SIZE=3]Raised bed garden using cinder blocks and hoop house VIDEO TWO OF FIVE[/SIZE]


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[SIZE=3]Raised bed garden using cinder blocks and hoop house VIDEO THREE OF FIVE[/SIZE]


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[SIZE=3]Raised bed garden using cinder blocks and hoop house VIDEO FOUR OF FIVE[/SIZE]


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[SIZE=3]Raised bed garden using cinder blocks and hoop house VIDEO FIVE OF FIVE[/SIZE]


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Old 01-06-2011, 08:16 AM
1,112 posts, read 2,731,635 times
Reputation: 900
Great idea and pics My HOA requires written permission for a vegtable garden and anything on that scale would be rejected so that's something other readers need to check out before investing in their garden.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:05 AM
Location: NC, USA
7,084 posts, read 14,097,124 times
Reputation: 4003
Dang, with the expense you are incurring to get your garden "off the ground" so-to-speak, your veggies are gonna be really expensive. I just till mine up 120' X 60', put in lime, fertilizer, plants on some items, seeds on others, mulch with grass clippings (2.5 acre yard, the other 9 acres are woods) and end up with more produce than 5 families could eat. I share with neighbors, my bank, and the Southern States co-op where I get most of my items. My top three items, by popularity are 1. Tomatos 2. Sugar Baby Watermelons 3. Cantalopes. The Corn, Squash, Cucumbers, 5 varieties of pepper, garlic, onion, potatos, broccoli, cauliflour, brussel sprouts and cabbage are pretty much tied for fourth.
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:07 PM
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,472 posts, read 15,576,678 times
Reputation: 6495
LOL yep your garden does sound expensive... But I feel your pain! I also only buy organic, and my food is like "GOLD." I swear I have some organic ketchup that was probably more expensive than gold or silver per ounce.

I'm also planning my garden for the coming year, but I just put down leaves, scraps and cardboard. And I'm planting seeds. IMO, if I have to spend a bunch of money and time, I might as well go to the supermarket. This year I plan to plant stuff in the actual "Sun" so I might get more than 5 okras and some late cherry tomatoes. LOL

I did okay tomato-wise at least last year simply putting tomatoes among my "foundation" plantings next to the house. My only problem is that I planted them late after all my "started" seeds got fried in their little "greenhouse" Betwixt the marigolds, daylilies and cosmos the tomatoes did great. And better yet...no tilling, hoeing etc for me. I didn't even have to weed, really because the mulch and stuff was already there.

I love regular gardening, but I seem to not have fun with vegetable gardens. I'd rather waste my time on the ornamental gardening.

I also wasted a lot of money on "seed starting supplies" I will NEVER do that again, this year I'm concentrating on getting plants that will work in my climate, and not plants I have to work to get food out of. Lazy? Yes, IMO MORE money and time is not the point of my vegetable garden.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:53 PM
1,963 posts, read 5,252,582 times
Reputation: 1636
I buy a lot of my produce at the farmer's markets and their prices are maybe 30 to 40% higher than supermarkets on average. However, I'm not feeding a dozen ppl so it's reasonable for the quality & variety. Even if i did have space to garden, I don't think I would sow enough seeds of different greens & herbs to make it worthwhile. Plus I'm not sure how you would go about timing, so that you have crops maturing at staggered intervals and not all at one time.

I admire your effort & handiwork though! Great job!
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:59 PM
7,493 posts, read 11,173,371 times
Reputation: 7394
Thanks for the video! I would love to have my own garden, but can't for three reasons. I live in a sucky climate. I don't have a greenhouse. And I don't have the time for growing anything more high-maintenance than cactus, which I have several of. Oh well, maybe someday...
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:25 AM
Location: Kansas
21,990 posts, read 18,555,921 times
Reputation: 21215
Smile Impressive!

Thank you so much for taking the time to share these videos and information. We are in Zone 6, in southeast KS and I can see how this would greatly benefit us. We have tried just the raised beds but with limited success. I also appreciate the recommendation on books and especially of the square foot gardening. We are in the process of converting to a raw diet and the cost of the fresh vegetables is about equal to the best steak! Many of vegetables are just not available here in the sticks either. This would just address so many of our issues: wind with pesticides curling up my plants, the feral cats and rabbits biting pieces from my tomatoes, our hopelessly compacted soil and weeds that will not stop! We live in town and our dream of moving to the country is disappearing because the real estate market is dead so the thought of this is our backyard, priceless. Thank you again for taking the time to share. Cathy
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:34 AM
48,503 posts, read 92,333,964 times
Reputation: 18237
Where i lve there are so mnay agrens that you can get local produce and vegtables at local markets fairly cheap. I do grow a small garden that supplies the qualties wife and I need. But we have friends that are seriously ito it that give us what they can;t store.That does look like a expensive garden to start and really not necessary here,
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:37 AM
Location: Texas
44,255 posts, read 60,295,676 times
Reputation: 73753
Way to go and get your hands dirty, op! That sounds very therapeutic, actually.

However, in your 'savings' have you figured in the cost of your own labor? You might not really be saving much at all.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:48 AM
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
42,568 posts, read 56,730,290 times
Reputation: 120585
The average gardner, (note I said average, you may not be average) spends more time & money buying the product, preparing the soil,, fertilizing, insect and animal control, weeding, sun/cold protection in order to get 2 or 3 tomatoes or such, than it costs to just go to the store and buy the item.
BTW, many places claim to sell organic grown, but actually they're not, including farmers markets. Recent investigations here have exposed many claiming organically grown, but were proved they were not.
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