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Author Topic: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.  (Read 2939 times)

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Offline stewie

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First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« on: February 12, 2017, 09:49:15 AM »
(yesterday) tilled a plot for a garden. maybe 30x20 when all said and done. even with that tiller is was back breaking work and i am a sore puppy today. we added in some compost (alpaca poop) into it and i may also throw in some pig crap too when we turn it again.

This plot is just for the first year - i need to pace myself and not take on more then i can chew. I have some trepidation about gardening because ... i've never really done it larger then a small raised bed planter and never did it from seeds i am sprouting myself. If this pans out like I hope, i will double the size next year.

the plan is for:

lettuce, brocolli, tomatoes, some heirloom corn, spinach, carrots, maybe try potatoes, asparagus (we have this on our land already growing wild believe it or not!) and some others. We found a nice species of heirloom cotton my wife wants to grow for yarn spinning as well.

all seeds are non-gmo heirlooms so i can save them and use again next year.

i am going to put up some ranch fencing around it with a little gate to keep the critters out and i've already installed a nice rain catching system with 2 275 gallon ibc totes about 50 feet from the plot so i hose out there is no issue. more pics down the road as i refine the water system a bit and get the fencing and gate up.

blackland prairie. dirt is BLACK.






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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2017, 09:54:30 AM »
 :likebutton:

Taters are easy, in the future a 3pt mounted tiller saves the back & I bought ours used as they don't get much use (just twice a year) then you can downsize walk behind tiller to use just for weeding. We had a pony tiller for this use. Keep rows wide enough to run current roller thru for weeding is my only suggestion other than doing a soil test. This will help you add exactly what the soil needs so you're not wasting time & effort.
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Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2017, 10:06:28 AM »
:likebutton:

Taters are easy, in the future a 3pt mounted tiller saves the back & I bought ours used as they don't get much use (just twice a year) then you can downsize walk behind tiller to use just for weeding. We had a pony tiller for this use. Keep rows wide enough to run current roller thru for weeding is my only suggestion other than doing a soil test. This will help you add exactly what the soil needs so you're not wasting time & effort.

i think it'll be easier when i till next year. the ground wasnt broken into in a long time and needed alot of encouragement.
the plan is to do the rows going width-wise to allow better runoff from storms. there is a slight grade on the property so i dont want my rows turning into burns.

weeding will be a chore i know.

as for taters, what do u recommend?
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Offline Farmer Jon

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2017, 11:24:20 AM »
Looks good. I have raised beds along with a patch 50 x75 for sweet corn and the viney plants.

I see you have the same problem I have. No wind protection. More than once I've planted small plants only to have the wind blow a day or two later and dry them all out. Partally my fault. I didnt have enough milk jugs to cover them. A lot of the ones I had blew away anyway because I didn't have them staked down good enough.
Last year I got excited and started plants indoors too early. In February. They got tall and spindly it was a mess. None survived. I had to start over. I will start them the middle of next month.
Good luck to you. Save all your grass clippings to put between the rows it will  keep the weeds down.

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Offline Farmer Jon

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2017, 11:28:25 AM »


This is how we plant my sweet corn. I can't remember the last time I used a tiller.

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Offline Wilbur

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2017, 12:47:03 PM »
Looks like a great start! Wind will kill seedlings pdq if you're not careful for sure. I have never had good luck starting seedlings indoors and transplanting them....I've had them get spindly or I kill then trying to harden them for transplant.

As a kid we always mulched the garden with hay. We rarely rototilled it and the hay continues to build nutrients for the soil as well as trapping water really well. That being said it does introduce weeds which need picking occasionally.

I want to try wood chips like this guy uses....I think it will do all the things I want out of cover (weed control, moisture retention and nutrient regen) but not introduce more seeds to the mix. Plus I can't help but enjoy his passion for what he's doing. One of the best parts about our garden is giving fresh produce to neighbors who don't have a garden. There is nothing better than produce that was picked minutes before being served on the table imo.

Www.backtoedenfilm.com

I will warn you the video is pretty long but lots of good stuff in this.

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2017, 01:13:10 PM »
We always planted russets & sometimes whatever else the farm store had for options, but mainly russets. I always pulled the dirt mound up 2-3x as well.
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Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2017, 09:02:58 AM »
im not going to plant everything until they're a few weeks old. to the south we have a nice tree line so that will help with the summer winds. for north/west winds i plan to plant the corn to use as a buffer. i've spent a lot of time studying how the winds blow and effect the property. it's much worse in the fall/winter when the surrounding fields do not have any corn growing on them.

as for the potatoes, we're going to grow them in a separate area in buckets/bins and we decided to go with "salad tables" for the lettuce/spinach. Now, i just need to build all this crap.
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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2017, 09:05:23 AM »
When u start building & planting we will need pics
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Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2017, 09:05:30 AM »


This is how we plant my sweet corn. I can't remember the last time I used a tiller.

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im far from that stage of planting. one we get more settled and learn a bit more, i have asked our lease/tenant farmer to teach me a few things. he just rolls up at odd hours of the day with tractors the size of my house. for a city boy, it's quite fascinating, lol.

i think i lost 10 pounds of breakfast tacos and gained 10 pounds of muscle mass between operating that tiller and moving all that rock over the weekend.
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Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2017, 09:05:56 AM »
When u start building & planting we will need pics

yup! ill be posting lots of pictures.
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2017, 10:10:07 AM »
im far from that stage of planting. one we get more settled and learn a bit more, i have asked our lease/tenant farmer to teach me a few things. he just rolls up at odd hours of the day with tractors the size of my house. for a city boy, it's quite fascinating, lol.

One of my Uncles in Maine farmed about 500 acres of potatoes (which was a lot up there)...and with 8 kids they always had a big-a** garden. He layer it out so he could run his JD tractor through it to weed. Was always funny to see him come out of the fields of potatoes and take a few runs through the garden. But it kept the weeds down.

Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2017, 01:00:03 PM »
im far from that stage of planting. one we get more settled and learn a bit more, i have asked our lease/tenant farmer to teach me a few things. he just rolls up at odd hours of the day with tractors the size of my house. for a city boy, it's quite fascinating, lol.

One of my Uncles in Maine farmed about 500 acres of potatoes (which was a lot up there)...and with 8 kids they always had a big-a** garden. He layer it out so he could run his JD tractor through it to weed. Was always funny to see him come out of the fields of potatoes and take a few runs through the garden. But it kept the weeds down.

ill probably be weeding by hand for a while as i learn more and more. I am an extremely hands on person and often would rather use a shovel and wheelbarrow to get a good workout then some chunk of machinery, but i am aware that the bigger i go, the more of a need machinery will be.

we are also fixing to plant some fruit trees (another subject i dont know much about) opposite the outlet for our tank.
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Offline Farmer Jon

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2017, 01:23:39 PM »
Just space your rows so you can go down the rows with a tiller. That will save a ton of work. Or as I said before lay grass clippings. I often use straw out of the chicken coop too.

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« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 01:44:08 PM by Farmer Jon »
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2017, 01:49:17 PM »
im far from that stage of planting. one we get more settled and learn a bit more, i have asked our lease/tenant farmer to teach me a few things. he just rolls up at odd hours of the day with tractors the size of my house. for a city boy, it's quite fascinating, lol.

One of my Uncles in Maine farmed about 500 acres of potatoes (which was a lot up there)...and with 8 kids they always had a big-a** garden. He layer it out so he could run his JD tractor through it to weed. Was always funny to see him come out of the fields of potatoes and take a few runs through the garden. But it kept the weeds down.

ill probably be weeding by hand for a while as i learn more and more. I am an extremely hands on person and often would rather use a shovel and wheelbarrow to get a good workout then some chunk of machinery, but i am aware that the bigger i go, the more of a need machinery will be.

we are also fixing to plant some fruit trees (another subject i dont know much about) opposite the outlet for our tank.

Stewie watch that video link I posted.....I'm following his lead in the spring....he uses wood chips.....keeps weeds to a minimum (like the grass clippings and better than hey which ive used), it also helps on watering and provides additional nutrients over time. There's no denying his success with it. I wish I had done it years ago.

Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2017, 09:47:44 PM »
ill watch it tomorrow while i work.

below is my water storage system. it's a work in progress. i plan to replace the garden hose with PVC piping in the next week or so. Right now the water feeds into it via the gutter from my 24' deck. I will however be adding more gutters around the house which means probably 2-3 more totes in the future.

I devised this hose system when we lived in the burbs and wanted to catch rain. i found the "canned" systems to be crappy and actually waste water, so i made up my own which will collect 99%. I say 99%, because 1% overflows out of the funnel cone if the water is rushing hard enough. It's rather simple and only cost about $10 for all the parts. During a single thunderstorm i could collect 50 gallons of water off a 10x16 roof.

Now, i dont expect 550 gallons to last more then a month during the summer, but it's better then running up the water meter! We can always draw from our other 'free' water (our water table is VERY HIGH).

when its all done, i will be building an enclosure around it to keep it safe from the sun, stupid cat and make it a bit more aesthetically pleasing.





« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 09:48:46 PM by stewie »
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2017, 10:22:22 PM »
 :likebutton: that looks great. Are you going to tie that with those trickle hoses (I forget what theyre called but they are like a sponge that releases water through the length of them a little at a time) that gradually release the water? I've not used them but have read they're much more efficient than sprinklers etc.

Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2017, 10:52:50 PM »
:likebutton: that looks great. Are you going to tie that with those trickle hoses (I forget what theyre called but they are like a sponge that releases water through the length of them a little at a time) that gradually release the water? I've not used them but have read they're much more efficient than sprinklers etc.

probably. i tend to water in the evening when the sun isnt as strong so it may be a case of just opening up the spigot and soaking the ground.
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Online JR

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2017, 12:49:24 AM »
 :likebutton: Great looking system there.

I was told watering early is a little better as you get a good soak in and less evaporation.
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Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2017, 08:03:13 AM »
so its been raining nonstop since 3 am here. I haven't really slept, so ive been checking on the rain collection setup. it's working, BUT i think it's overwhelmed by the water so water is overflowing out of the downspout.

i was going to convert the hose to 3/4" pvc, but i think now i am going to do it 1", possibly 1.25" to avoid losing so much liquid to the ground.

:likebutton: Great looking system there.

I was told watering early is a little better as you get a good soak in and less evaporation.

hmm, i may have to try it. in the 'burbs i did it in the evening. i guess being surrounded by other houses didnt make as much of a difference.
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Online JR

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2017, 11:55:13 AM »
It also helps control fungus since was another reason.

Now you know every I learned about growing the 1 year I did it. Well it did help my welding skills but I never learned spanish,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
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Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2017, 12:20:42 PM »
It also helps control fungus since was another reason.

Now you know every I learned about growing the 1 year I did it. Well it did help my welding skills but I never learned spanish,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

welding is something i wanna learn. I married into a puerto rican family... i can understand the language but only care to know the words required to have someone remove themselves swiftly from my presence, the presence of my family or my property.
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Offline TexasRedNeck

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2017, 07:05:10 PM »
I use overhead sprinklers for my seedlings and then switch over to drip irrigation.  You can get drip hose with emitters every 12 inches.  My set up has a pvs "manifold" I made of pvc with tees to have a drip line going down each row and ties into a duolicate manifold at the other end of the garden.  A simple filter to keep particles out of the drip lines.  You may need a pump from the containers to make it work.
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Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2017, 09:38:51 AM »
I use overhead sprinklers for my seedlings and then switch over to drip irrigation.  You can get drip hose with emitters every 12 inches.  My set up has a pvs "manifold" I made of pvc with tees to have a drip line going down each row and ties into a duolicate manifold at the other end of the garden.  A simple filter to keep particles out of the drip lines.  You may need a pump from the containers to make it work.

can u post pics?

i was messing with the water in the containers yesterday and the flow out on a hose line is just enough to pour water, but pressure isn't the greatest so i will have to put a pump inline with the tank and the hose for sure.
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Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2017, 09:40:38 AM »
Looks like a great start! Wind will kill seedlings pdq if you're not careful for sure. I have never had good luck starting seedlings indoors and transplanting them....I've had them get spindly or I kill then trying to harden them for transplant.

As a kid we always mulched the garden with hay. We rarely rototilled it and the hay continues to build nutrients for the soil as well as trapping water really well. That being said it does introduce weeds which need picking occasionally.

I want to try wood chips like this guy uses....I think it will do all the things I want out of cover (weed control, moisture retention and nutrient regen) but not introduce more seeds to the mix. Plus I can't help but enjoy his passion for what he's doing. One of the best parts about our garden is giving fresh produce to neighbors who don't have a garden. There is nothing better than produce that was picked minutes before being served on the table imo.

Www.backtoedenfilm.com

I will warn you the video is pretty long but lots of good stuff in this.

so i started watching this movie. it's great and has given me a lot to think about. I took down 8 trees last weekend and instead of burning them, we're going to mulch them (just need a mulcher). i dont want to keep tilling the ground. so our plan for next year is to have the "covering" method in place.
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2017, 07:22:10 PM »
It is addictive seeing his success and his methods make so much sense. I got my wife to watch parts ad now she gets why I'm pushing for woodchips. Good luck!

Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2017, 08:46:36 AM »
It is addictive seeing his success and his methods make so much sense. I got my wife to watch parts ad now she gets why I'm pushing for woodchips. Good luck!

i need a decent woodchipper. i felled 8 trees the other weekend and they're laying on the shoreline of my pond for final destination.

this weekend we're going to get some of our sprouts in the ground. they're growing SO FAST. We're using all non-gmo heirlooms so we can save seeds.
i need to get a simple fence up around the garden, small door and some trellis for the pees.
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2017, 09:40:40 AM »
That's great....if you have room you might see if any landscapers/tree removal guys might want a place to dump chips (it's what the guy does in the video). If you can save them travel time they might love you for it. I just don't know how rural you are or if that's an option. I am going to get chips from a guy about a mile away...he'll load my trailer easy peasey and I think he wants $5 or $10 a yard. I need about 25-30 yards.

You doing real peas or sugar snaps? When our kids were little I always planted sugar snaps along one end of the garden (35' or so)....planted them every year and never once got a meal for the table. The kids would all line up eating them right off the vine. It was great. No whining for crap snacks. (Not that we ever had junk food anyway but just so great to see them enjoying "fresh" food like that!) Good luck!

Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2017, 10:02:40 AM »
That's great....if you have room you might see if any landscapers/tree removal guys might want a place to dump chips (it's what the guy does in the video). If you can save them travel time they might love you for it. I just don't know how rural you are or if that's an option. I am going to get chips from a guy about a mile away...he'll load my trailer easy peasey and I think he wants $5 or $10 a yard. I need about 25-30 yards.

You doing real peas or sugar snaps? When our kids were little I always planted sugar snaps along one end of the garden (35' or so)....planted them every year and never once got a meal for the table. The kids would all line up eating them right off the vine. It was great. No whining for crap snacks. (Not that we ever had junk food anyway but just so great to see them enjoying "fresh" food like that!) Good luck!

i have a wood source after the tornados, i just need the chipper. ill be on the hunt for that stuff next week. we're doing both real and sugar snap. ill probably plant them on the west side to provide some PM shade for the other plants. I am trying to sprout corn, but that's kinda either not working or taking a long time.
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Offline Bob/OlallaWa

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2017, 11:52:34 AM »
Check with the local road supervisor, if they are chipping along the public roads, they need places to dump the chip truck. Chippers large enough to handle larger branches or trunks will be very costly to a homeowner.

Offline EL TATE

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2017, 12:06:26 PM »
x2. ^^^ Rented one for my eagle scout project back in the way back and it was 90% of the project budget, but boy did it work! with all the tornado carnage, there's got to be lots of chipping going on and tired guys looking for an easy dump site.
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Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2017, 02:44:09 PM »
good idea. yeah, they're EXPENSIVE. the ghetto ones i see are for like small twigs and all - and they're still $500.
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Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2017, 09:41:47 PM »
when i got back from the office, i got the wood blocked out for the garden. It's a work in progress. I was going to dig post holes but opted against it because i may have to move the garden or expand it so i opted for maximum flexibility. I will add some rebar staked into the ground in a few spots to keep it square. 3' fence will wrap around it with a 36" gate. ill be adding some angle supports on the sides of the posts for looks and support.

salad tables are next up. i will be using ALL leftover and salvaged wood from other projects and stuff i found that was destroyed by the recent storms.



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Offline Sammconn

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2017, 10:23:06 PM »
Looks great. And if you do expand, no holes is a good thing.
The dirt looks fantastic, hope it produces as well as it looks.
I just don't want to wind up missing a digit or limb.  I can sometimes get in a hurry to get results.
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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2017, 08:54:00 AM »
Looks great. And if you do expand, no holes is a good thing.
The dirt looks fantastic, hope it produces as well as it looks.

the dirt is nice and fluffy. I need to add more alpaca compost to it and i am trying to source woodchips as well.
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2017, 09:12:58 AM »
Whitetails must be non existent there. Here in the tuck, our deer would hop that in a NY minute. But what I know of the deer in that part of the country are significantly smaller, and likely not around you in abundance (No trees for cover)
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Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2017, 09:25:19 AM »
Whitetails must be non existent there. Here in the tuck, our deer would hop that in a NY minute. But what I know of the deer in that part of the country are significantly smaller, and likely not around you in abundance (No trees for cover)

deer arent a problem where i am. the wooded areas a few miles away have a lot of them. my biggest problem is raccoons and coyotes.
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2017, 09:43:02 AM »
Whitetails must be non existent there. Here in the tuck, our deer would hop that in a NY minute. But what I know of the deer in that part of the country are significantly smaller, and likely not around you in abundance (No trees for cover)

deer arent a problem where i am. the wooded areas a few miles away have a lot of them. my biggest problem is raccoons and coyotes.
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Offline stewie

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2017, 09:56:48 AM »
Whitetails must be non existent there. Here in the tuck, our deer would hop that in a NY minute. But what I know of the deer in that part of the country are significantly smaller, and likely not around you in abundance (No trees for cover)

deer arent a problem where i am. the wooded areas a few miles away have a lot of them. my biggest problem is raccoons and coyotes.
5.56...

i think our neighbor's keep the coyotes busy. we've yet to have a problem.
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Offline TexasRedNeck

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #39 on: February 28, 2017, 07:41:12 PM »
So I got my soil testing report back from Texas A&M today.  First time I've had my garden soil tested.  All looked OK except i had too much phosphorous, probably from too much mushroom compost.  Best $17 I spent.  I'll post more in my hide/retirement site.
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Offline KensAuto

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #40 on: February 28, 2017, 10:18:22 PM »
17 bucks, that's it? Sounds like a heck of a deal for that kind of info.

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #41 on: May 10, 2017, 09:01:34 AM »
so we had a real strong storm about 3 weeks ago. it pretty much leveled the garden and whatever plants were growing. we have 3 surviving tomato plants, the corn is doing well, squash and cucumbers died.

i can honestly say i need to re-work some of this for next year.

So I got my soil testing report back from Texas A&M today.  First time I've had my garden soil tested.  All looked OK except i had too much phosphorous, probably from too much mushroom compost.  Best $17 I spent.  I'll post more in my hide/retirement site.

i gotta get that done.
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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #43 on: May 10, 2017, 01:38:12 PM »
so we had a real strong storm about 3 weeks ago. it pretty much leveled the garden and whatever plants were growing. we have 3 surviving tomato plants, the corn is doing well, squash and cucumbers died.

i can honestly say i need to re-work some of this for next year.

So I got my soil testing report back from Texas A&M today.  First time I've had my garden soil tested.  All looked OK except i had too much phosphorous, probably from too much mushroom compost.  Best $17 I spent.  I'll post more in my hide/retirement site.


 
i gotta get that done.

Greenhouse those plants that are prone to the high winds and then once spring storm season passes I would then replant to the garden. Up north this is how may of the "pros" do it so they have early product for the farmers markets that start popping up here just before memorial day.
Learn the rules like a pro so that you can break them like an artist -Pablo Picasso-

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Re: First time @ large(r) scale gardening.
« Reply #44 on: June 25, 2017, 12:40:44 AM »
Update?
Learn the rules like a pro so that you can break them like an artist -Pablo Picasso-