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Old 03-16-2011, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Between Heaven And Hell.
13,695 posts, read 10,073,333 times
Reputation: 17069

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gardner2 View Post
I might just have the solution you seek.
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 large project. Please share it with other that might be interested in finding some help.

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_GNU_0TRwA

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeJO5wvJb2Y
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Raised bed garden using cinder blocks and hoop house VIDEO THREE OF FIVE[/SIZE]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaSZ4aAB5RU
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Raised bed garden using cinder blocks and hoop house VIDEO FOUR OF FIVE[/SIZE]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0gD107Z1xA
[SIZE=3] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Raised bed garden using cinder blocks and hoop house VIDEO FIVE OF FIVE[/SIZE]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5nLF_SpK6M

Laszlo Zone 7b

That was good of you to put those videos on youtube. Your work has probably helped save many from doing things wrong.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:17 AM
Gue
 
24,118 posts, read 10,160,470 times
Reputation: 61066
I'm going to get pea seeds this weekend & plant them on Saturday.

It'll be great to start the Spring veges. I'm going to try lettuce in containers this year too.
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:18 AM
 
1,815 posts, read 5,409,092 times
Reputation: 789
Quote:
Originally Posted by southward bound View Post
The book sounds interesting, but I'm not familiar with it so can't help you out there. I would be interested in hearing how others save seeds for the next year. I think I've read that the hybrid seeds we buy from most larger companies (burpee etc) will not produce the following year. I don't know if they are genetically modified, or if genetic modification is something altogether separate from hybridization. Occasionally some of my watermelons reseeded the next year, but the fruit produced was very small.

If planting for ongoing sustenance and self-reliance, I think one needs the heirloom seeds. Is that correct?

I ordered some interesting heirloom seeds from Amazon.com at a reasonable price. Worth checking out.
Finally able to request the book from interlibrary loan - will let you know if it's worth it. Did pick up an interesting one last night - MiniFarming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 acre by Brett L. Markham. Hoping to read that this weekend.

Heirloom seeds are the way to go to get the same plant year after year. Hybrids can re-seed, but the resulting plant is not like the parent plant. I usually get my seeds from friends and from garden shows. I'm an impulse shopper when it comes to the garden. Starting some snowberry and black cherry tomatoes this year from seed. Purchased the snowberry as a plant last year and the black cherry seeds came from a friend.
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,771 posts, read 105,023,303 times
Reputation: 49250
seeds have been ordered, some weeding completed in the garden, and I will do a little more today. In the next few weeks we will buy more top soil plus we are using some hay this year. Suddenly it is in the 70s, at least for a few days and I can almost smell the fresh beans and juicy, sweet tomatoes.

Nita
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:56 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,084 posts, read 14,893,086 times
Reputation: 4041
One of the best organic fertilizer I've found, one I learned about three years ago and have been using it ever since. My garden is 80ft X 50ft and I'll use 2- 40# bags, then till in and/or up my ground. Years ago it was pure red clay, t'ain't anymore. Between the organics in the fertilizer and the grassclippings I use around each plant, I am dealing with a rich loam. Milorganite is the name of the fertilizer, tis a bit odoriferous, but danged if it doesn't work. Like most Tomato growers in the south, I grow my tomatos specifically for Tomato Sandwiches, yeah, I also grow lettuce, three types, and cabbages, brussell sprouts, broccoli, head cabbage, squash, Yellow crookneck, zucchini, Butternut; okra, onions, spinach, five varieties of pepper but more poblano than anything else. (did you know, that a poblano is almost the national pepper of Mexico, when it is green it is a poblano, when it turns orange or red, it is called an ancho, and...if you put either the green or red into a smoker and slow cook them, it is called "Chipotle", one plant, three separate and distinct flavors) OOPS, I digress, did I mention my corn? a variety called "Incredible"--lives up to it's name, most of the time we eat it raw, very sweet, tender with a truly amazing corn taste. Oh yeah!!! almost forgot, Sugarbaby Watermelon, and Cantalopes. My garden keeps me busy and out of mischief all summer and feeds us for most of the year. Between the garden, my hunting and fishing we save a lot of money on food.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:53 PM
 
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
4,486 posts, read 5,234,401 times
Reputation: 7012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Rhodes View Post
One of the best organic fertilizer I've found, one I learned about three years ago and have been using it ever since. My garden is 80ft X 50ft and I'll use 2- 40# bags, then till in and/or up my ground. Years ago it was pure red clay, t'ain't anymore. Between the organics in the fertilizer and the grassclippings I use around each plant, I am dealing with a rich loam. Milorganite is the name of the fertilizer, tis a bit odoriferous, but danged if it doesn't work. Like most Tomato growers in the south, I grow my tomatos specifically for Tomato Sandwiches, yeah, I also grow lettuce, three types, and cabbages, brussell sprouts, broccoli, head cabbage, squash, Yellow crookneck, zucchini, Butternut; okra, onions, spinach, five varieties of pepper but more poblano than anything else. (did you know, that a poblano is almost the national pepper of Mexico, when it is green it is a poblano, when it turns orange or red, it is called an ancho, and...if you put either the green or red into a smoker and slow cook them, it is called "Chipotle", one plant, three separate and distinct flavors) OOPS, I digress, did I mention my corn? a variety called "Incredible"--lives up to it's name, most of the time we eat it raw, very sweet, tender with a truly amazing corn taste. Oh yeah!!! almost forgot, Sugarbaby Watermelon, and Cantalopes. My garden keeps me busy and out of mischief all summer and feeds us for most of the year. Between the garden, my hunting and fishing we save a lot of money on food.
I'm gonna have to try that stuff.

We live in a high mountain desert with clay soil. Every year it's add compost, add manure, add sphagnum moss ect. It's gotten a lot better but it's not where I want it to be, yet.

What's your secret for growing Brussels Sprouts? I've tried everything and they still commit suicide!
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Boonies
2,427 posts, read 3,577,292 times
Reputation: 3451
Quote:
Originally Posted by lialleycat View Post
Did container gardening and square foot gardening (SFG) this year.

Hot, dry summers do not make for happy tomato container plants! They did ok, but the ones in the SFG were HUGE! Strawberries just revolted by not making many berries, but that's ok. They are doing awesome now and producing lots of beautiful, sweet berries.

Learned that tomatoes do too well in a SFG and need their own. Though they were crowded by the tomatoes, carrots, swiss chard, lettuces and kale did well in the SFG. string beans and peppers did not do as well, but were in the rows adjacent to the monster tomatoes.

Will definitely do the SFG method again next year. Will build one just for tomatoes too! Great because can cage them in and keep the neighbors cats and dogs out of them, whilst still growing a decent amount of vegetables. Quite happy with the harvest this year on my little suburban plot of land.

Next year I want to try potatoes in tires (using a method I saw online), two SFG's and I'll give the strawberries more room to roam by moving runners to containers (since I won't be using them for tomatoes next year).

I'm already looking forward to the seed catalogs to start planning for next year! LOL!
I have been thinking about planting my tomatoes all in one area. How big are your SFG's?
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:16 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,084 posts, read 14,893,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarragon View Post
I have been thinking about planting my tomatos all in one area. How big are your SFG's?
In all, I guess my garden is around 4000 square feet, it's a fuzz over 80 ft wide, and just a bit over 50 ft deep. Uh....NO, that does not mean I plant seed 50 ft deep into the earth, OR, "Yuh just gotta see the root system on them maters!!!" Maybe I should say 50 feet long and 80 ft wide. Dang, most of ya probably understood me the first time.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Boonies
2,427 posts, read 3,577,292 times
Reputation: 3451
Wow Dusty, that is one huge garden. I've usually had more land to use for a garden. We moved this past year, I am establishing new gardens and I don't have nearly as much to work with. I'm trying to be creative! My garden is only 10x15. I am use to at least 20x50. I can get a couple of 4x4's in a couple of places as well. I want to be able to plant cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, green beans, onions, spinach, tomatoes, swiss chard, radishes, lettuce, peppers, peas,. 10x15 won't do it. Any suggestions?!
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,470 posts, read 16,444,952 times
Reputation: 6522
In zone 7, this novice gardener has already started planting stuff. I currently have three sad looking areas of sprouted kohlrabi and spinach.

We’ve had a lot of rain this Spring, so maybe that's why... I also have acid and a bit clay-ey soil. I amended the soil a bit and I did fling some lime on the guys and give them a little miracle-gro. I think I need to get some chicken wire from the HD to put around their beds.

I suspect that if they have a growth spurt rabbits and aardvarks and goodness knows what else will instantly spring out of the wilderness and devour them.

I have no raised beds. I did put old pieces of wood around one of my beds this year, though. God bless it.

I planted some purple asparagus crowns a couple of weeks ago. I see a couple coming up, but I fear for their lives in my slightly clay-ey, acidic and moist soil. If they survive, I may dig them up and replant them in a more suitable bed next year.

I planted bush zucchini, winter squash, yellow watermelon, tomato and pepper seeds. I think I see some tomatoes sprouting! Tomatoes seem to be the only plants who are faster than the weeds.

I bought most of my seeds from Burpee, but I got some from my neighbor and mom. I am against roundup-ready foods, but I definitely appreciate disease resistant cultivars. I also saved seeds from some of the organic produce I bought. I had a plum tomato that I really enjoyed.

I planted purple pole beans for the first time! With all the wet and cool weather, I hope these guys actually germinate. If they do, I'll have a lot of purple veggies!

On the positive side, my herb garden looks GREAT this year! I planted perennial herbs from seed last year. I had to FIGHT with the weeds. To make it tougher, I had to wait until the plants were sturdy enough before I could weed properly. Now the sage, thyme, Chinese chives etc are looking LOVELY. I LOVE perennial plants and I wish more vegetables were perennial in my zone.

My awesome Gardening Queen mom gave me a lot of plants and seeds this year. Ok, I begged for a lot of them, but she also gave me some okra seeds! I planted half of them yesterday.

I also have my eggplant and chocolate peppers still inside being "started." It is still too chilly for me to risk putting them outside.
I don’t want a repeat of the mass killing of infant plants that I had last year.

I planted nasturtium seeds and marigold seeds in the perimeter of my vegetable garden areas. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that those germinate, too.
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