The Survival Podcast Forum

Farm, Garden and The Land => Gardening and Agriculture => Show Us Your Garden => Topic started by: cohutt on June 16, 2009, 07:52:06 PM

Title: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on June 16, 2009, 07:52:06 PM
INTRO:

In the 10 months after I started this thread my backyard has undergone a transformation from an overgrown mature landscape into an increasingly productive garden plot.   This thread (as well as the “chapter 2” thread, which picked up in January 2010 where this one left off  http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=12690.0 (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=12690.0) ) documents the progress I have made teaching myself the most basic and fundamental skill of producing my own food.   

My home is in a downtown historic district in northern Georgia and at the widest point my lot is only 70 feet wide.   Not large by “homestead” standards, but 3 times the size of what the Dervaes family lot that produces over 3 tons of food annually. 

Jack asked me to write this intro so that this might be linked via “Save our Skills”.   Besides a square foot garden construction primer, these threads include a pretty nice rain catch system design and installation, some basic fence and shed building, installation of an asparagus bed, as well as the beginnings of my experiments with high density bamboo trellis.  Mainly they include a lot of pictures, around 350 at last count.   

Hopefully these give confidence.    I possess no formal training in carpentry or agriculture or really anything hands on; I have a “whitest of white”-collar career. 

Prepare to learn by reading but learn by doing.
Make some mistakes.  Kill some plants.  Grow some food.   Enjoy the freedom that follows.

cohutt


________________________________________________________________________________

June 2009:
I previously posted a thread about a mega compost effort I undertook in anticipation of a new SFG to be constructed in my backyard.  The compost cooked off faster than I thought it would so I got busy turning 400 sq ft of zoysia sod into 5 raised beds.  (I took some pics along the way with a decent camera as well as my crackberry camera, so the quality isn't consistent. )

First- my backyard as it was, as viewed from my back porch/sunroom, with the laid out square (just under 20'x20').

Lawn:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden002.jpg)

Lizzie's house overlooking the lawn:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden003.jpg)

(Lizzie was the last person to live in the house- it was built as servant's quarters to the main house back in 1870)


Next I started pulling the sod manually and decided after a row that a sodcutter would in fact be the only way I could pull the sod up before the growing season was over.

Sod up and moved to other spots in the yard:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden0.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden006.jpg)

Next- leveling and building the beds
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on June 16, 2009, 08:05:51 PM
BTW, I pulled the sod so i wouldn't have to mow or maintain in between the beds.  I also could use it in some bare areas, so it seemed like the thing to do.

Next, I constructed the beds out of the 2x6's that had been drying out for a few weeks on the porch of Lizzies.  Before i put them together, I wanted to paint the boards - Mrs Cohutt insisted on something that looked halfway decent.  I ended up putting 2 coats of stain on it, the darkest stain that Homey Depot had - "slate" i think.  Why dark?  White looks good clean but i doubted that it ever would be clean, so I opted for the darker color.

1st coat of stain before i cleaned up and leveled the dirt where the sod was:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden00.jpg)

I built 4 8'x4' beds and dropped them roughly where they would go.  I also cut the weedblock cloth around the edges I will eventually tack down

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden000.jpg)

From the back window:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden008.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on June 16, 2009, 08:10:01 PM
Nice start.
Well done.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on June 16, 2009, 08:13:11 PM
Next - placing the beds in their final spot and leveling, followed by lining the whole thing with a couple layers of cardboard boxes.  Once I had this done I put a couple inches of cypress mulch over the cardboard in between the beds.

Some shots of it all prepped and ready for dirt, but without the center 4x4 bed:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden011.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden009.jpg)

I finished the center bed last week and installed it as well:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden020a.jpg)



Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on June 16, 2009, 08:26:33 PM
Last saturday I picked up the peat and vermiculite to mix with my compost then spent the better part of the day mixing up a half bed at a time of "Mel's mix" using a sheet of plastic as a tarp to roll it up and together. It was well mixed when i put it in- this method works very well.

Sunday I put the two top posts in and built a mini retaining wall for the 5" or so I removed from the grade along the top edge while leveling.  Finally I planted a few things some corn and beans mainly- had to get something in the ground now even though my original goal was to have it ready for a big fall crop.

We are keeping my brother in law's dog currently (thankfully we are done tommorrow) and I was afraid he might dig some in the morning when no one was home and he was in the back yard.  I covered as much as i could but sure enough the little bastige got all in it and I had to replant some last night.  This was after making a cheap temporary fence out of deer netting to discourage him and the various cats from getting into it anymore.
It seemed to work so tonight i cleaned up some a snapped a picture or two of the progress. There is some plastic mesh over a couple of the beds still and you can see the surveyors tape i tied into the deer netting as well.

All in all I am pleased so far but still have a lot to do- I plan on putting a low fence around it, something to deter dogs and cats down the raod and to keep it somewhat visually segregated from the lawn as well.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden022.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden023.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on June 16, 2009, 08:34:09 PM
I have 6 food grade 55 gallon drums I will over-engineer into a rain catch system sfter i finish the fence.  I'll post the progress and setbacks with that as what I have in mind is probably a little ambitous (like most of my projects).

Also, it is hot here in N GA right now as the highs will remain in the upper 90s for a few days along with very high humidity.  This makes for a lot of sweat as you might imagine.

What happens when you mix peat, vermiculite and compost all day long in this heat?  Hint, it becomes obvious when you take off your boots afterwards:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/IMG00122.jpg)


Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on June 16, 2009, 10:58:49 PM
nice job Cohutt
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: dhallftworth on June 16, 2009, 11:33:14 PM
Great job... that will help lots of new people build their own gardens!!! Looks great! I really like the progression of the pics..  ;D
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Sister Wolf on June 16, 2009, 11:41:43 PM
Beautiful job with the explanation & absolutely gorgeous pictures.  Your beds are so awesome!  I can't wait to see them full of food.  ;D  !!!  +1 cohutt.  Great job, here.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on June 17, 2009, 12:28:42 AM
WOW!  Very nice.

Visually pleasing as well.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on June 17, 2009, 04:08:35 AM
Thanks- As i said Mrs Cohutt was lukewarm to the idea until i came up with something she liked on paper.  As it progressed she became very excited about the idea of more fresh veggies. 

I say more because very hurriedly in late March I put in two small triangular beds on the side of the house and planted some lettuce and spinach, followed by some tomatoes. This was before heard of true SFG on one of the podcasts and bought the book; the beds are cut to fit two odd spots and were filled with dirt from the other side of my house.  This dirt is really just 40 years of pecan leaves, tassels and nuts composted right where the fell.  It is rich and seems to work pretty well even though it isn't "Mel's mix".

The lettuce is still around on its last leg and the tomatoes are coming along nicely. The lettuce is pretty bitter now right when it is picked.  She read that you it can still work if picked when it is cooler in the morning and then left refrigerated for 48 hrs or so.  This works pretty well and it is plenty edible, so the last or the plants are still in even though they look like hell and are well past their prime.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden026.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden025.jpg)

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on June 17, 2009, 04:20:31 AM
The little green cage in the 2nd picture of the previous post is catnip.

I had to put my two old dogs down last Christmas and for now and without dog.  When the time is right we'll save one or two more and as mentioned I will have the plot fenced in fairly soon.  

I still have company when I am out there- the "monster baby".  Mrs C found him in box on our main street when his eyes weren't even completely opened and she saved him.  He was bottle raised by humans and grew up with dogs so he really doesn't know he is a cat; he hangs out in the back with me when I'm digging the way the dogs used to do.  He could fit into a shoe when we got him but he grew a little.  And A little more.  And some more.    And even more.

If i keep him stoned on catnip he stays out of the beds while I'm working in there. Why would i go to that trouble?

I present "the monster baby", my gardening buddy and chief squirrel patrolman:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/general%20stuff/pissymonsterbaby.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on June 17, 2009, 07:52:22 AM
Dude, Cohutt! My cat looks almost exactly like that!  it is uncanny. very cute
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: dhallftworth on June 17, 2009, 08:12:26 AM
That cat looks stoned!!!! LOL That's some good catnip...  ;D
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on June 18, 2009, 07:59:37 AM
Look at my cat Hunter Cohutt. I think we might have brothers

(http://i607.photobucket.com/albums/tt156/RoswellC/IMG_0163.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on June 18, 2009, 06:21:42 PM
Yeah, look a lot alike although the monster baby craps bigger than your cat lol...


OK, back to garden progress.

Dug the two back corner post holes and found where they laid the old galvanized pipe to get water to the back of the yard in the 50s. DOH! it is disconnected now but i'll have to use concrete in this hole since it is going to be shallow..... 

Last night there were a couple of sprouts of corn and beans.  This evening stuff is up all over the place. 

(The string is temporary until i stain and cut some wooden strips and get them installed.

 I'm liking this so far.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden033.jpg)

Corn!!  (Devotion)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden034.jpg)

Beans!!  (baby lima and Roma)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden031.jpg)


Better shot of the whole deal:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden032.jpg)

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on June 21, 2009, 12:00:49 PM
Another update.....

I sunk the two back corner posts and installed the treated 2x4 retaining edging on two more sides.    It has been incredibly hot and humid here (100 with another +5 to +8 on the heat index from the humidity).  I worked almost all Saturday with my miter saw set up in the shade but i couldn't escape the oppressive heat when measuring, digging & installing the edges, so I gave out before I finished the 4th side.

I moved my setup to the patio and started cutting/assembling the platform for the 4 x 55gal raincatch system I intend to get built and installed.  I'll post the whole series on it when I am complete in a few weeks.

The good news is the warm soil gave me fast germination and everything is taking off....

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden046.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden047.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden048.jpg)

Can anyone ID these?

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden049.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on June 21, 2009, 12:07:15 PM
And the beginnings of the over-engineered 4 barrel rain catch system building it here but the final install will be against the house at my biggest "watershed" gutter on the house :

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/garden042.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/garden043.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/garden044.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: calamityjane on June 21, 2009, 12:59:21 PM
Yeah, look a lot alike although the monster baby craps bigger than your cat lol...


OK, back to garden progress.



Fantastic pics, love the layout.  Wish I could help on plant ID there.  Well done. 

cj
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: garyb31 on June 21, 2009, 01:32:31 PM
Are they peanuts?
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on June 21, 2009, 03:19:07 PM
Are they peanuts?

We have a winner- yes, they are in fact goober peas.....

Planted them just for the hell of it- just to see how they do...
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on June 27, 2009, 07:47:53 AM
Ok, a week later things are progressing well.



(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden054.jpg)


I planted two grids of corn and it is growing very quickly.  I put up a stabilizing net over the silver queen; this is to keep it from blowing over when it is full height in a few weeks.  Supposedly it grows straight through the grid and is supported sufficiently.   We'll see.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden058.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Sister Wolf on June 27, 2009, 11:45:39 AM
Gosh, that is looking SO NICE!!!!  :)  +1, cohutt!  I bet you're dang excited about how well things are turning out!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Sister Wolf on June 27, 2009, 11:47:40 AM
Wait, what in the heck is that board over part of the beds?
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on June 28, 2009, 02:06:15 PM
Wait, what in the heck is that board over part of the beds?

LOL, i guess it does look like a board.

That was a quickie "mulch" solution i threw down around the one squash plant I have planted.   It has been bone dry and 100 degrees here for the last week and looks the same for while yet.

Mel says for bush variety (non vine) squash, allocate one per 9 sq ft.   I looked at all the empty uncovered soil in the squares around the plant and figured it would be best to mulch around it.
So i got one of the heay brown paper bags that the vermiculit came in and cut a 3x3 square and punched a hole in the middle. I sprinkled some peat on it to try and make it blend in until I came up with a better method. 

And yes I am pleased with the progress so far.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Risko on June 28, 2009, 08:41:19 PM
Wow!  Very impressive.  Thanks for the updates; keep them comin'!

~Risko
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 07, 2009, 07:50:03 PM
10 more days and things keep growing.

The peanuts are beginning to bloom.

The Roma Bush beans kept some of their vining genes

Short 2 fence posts , need to hurry or the other patch of corn will be too tall to run through the stabilizing netting.

Building a shade frame to try heat of the summer lettuce per Mel's instructions. 50% shade cloth + extra water + mulch and lettuce might not go bitter....  we will see.  Pictures added when contraption is done.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden063.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden065.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden066.jpg)

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 07, 2009, 07:54:30 PM
Also the tomato bed on the side of the house is coming along. Built a trellis netting frame that doubles as a bird netting prop.  Damn mockingbird nesting nearby is a tomato bandit.

[
(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden067-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on July 07, 2009, 11:18:48 PM
mmm... looks like one of your tomatoes are ready.  :)   

awesome work my man.  It is coming along great.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Sister Wolf on July 08, 2009, 06:24:08 PM
Gorgeous!!!  I'm so jealous of your corn!  :)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on July 08, 2009, 06:33:08 PM
and this was all done in 7 weeks and a hot summer! god i love the south! good job man. can't wait to do mine in a few years
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: BerserkerPrime on July 08, 2009, 08:51:21 PM
Seeing this is about the only time I regreat my desision to live so far north!  That is one beutiful set up!  Love it!

BP
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 08, 2009, 09:05:01 PM
Thanks, you guys are keeping me motivated with all your nice comments.

I got the other corn stabilizer trellis put up this evening.  While i was out I noticed  the peanuts have started flowering/ Woot>

I am going to woirk on my raincatch system this weekend and also come up with a low, portable shadecloth frame for a dozen squares or so.

More updates to follow in a few days.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on July 09, 2009, 06:36:19 PM
do you have an irrigation system from the raindrip? you're doing us proud!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 09, 2009, 07:39:01 PM
No irrigation yet - hope to make some progress this weekend.   I need to make the connections and dig a pipe run to connect it to the garden (I don't want to drag hoses from my barrels).  While I'm at it i think I'm going to run the regular water out there too so that I have a backup faucet right there as well.

Platform that will hold the 4 55gal food drums:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/garden043.jpg)

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on July 09, 2009, 11:24:53 PM
looks beast dude
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 11, 2009, 07:33:48 PM
I added something new today; we were spoiled by the lettuce I grew this spring.  It's been about 3 weeks or a month since we had to give up on it due to the heat. 

So I figure I'll try and grow some under shade cloth here in the heat of the N GA summer.  Mel says it can be done with extra water and a layer of mulch.  We will know soon enough i guess....

I built the base yesterday evening then the two shade cloth frames frames this afternoon.  I had some scavenged shade cloth (looks like the 50% stuff) and by this afternoon I had it all assembled.

Nothing planted yet, hatching some lettuce indoors this week to put out in a couple.

Assembled and "installed":

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden071.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden072.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden073.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 11, 2009, 07:38:09 PM
I made the frames so they each cover 1/2 of the area I'll plant and can be lifted off individually for tending to the plants:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden075.jpg)


I also did some woirk on the raincatch system but miscounted the number of pvc elbows i'd need to I didn't git it done.  Maybe tommorrow.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on July 11, 2009, 07:40:49 PM
Looking nice.
Keep up the posts.
I like your compost area.
I wish I had that much material.
This fall I'll have plenty, but for now, not so much.
+1
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on July 12, 2009, 11:13:35 AM
awesome idea with the shade cloth over the lettuce. I may try the same thing although, I would enclose the sides because I have also had a problem with squirrels and chipmunks getting in it in addition to the lettuce being burned. It is weird. They only mess with the lettuce and nothing else. I plan on making stew of them anyway, but until then I think that is an awesome idea.  Cohutt, I know you said you salvaged your shade cloth, but do you know how much it runs and if home depot has it? Awesome work by the way, your garden is looking better and better.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: evilrob on July 12, 2009, 02:55:09 PM
Also the tomato bed on the side of the house is coming along. Built a trellis netting frame that doubles as a bird netting prop.  Damn mockingbird nesting nearby is a tomato bandit.

I need to find a cheap source for that netting.  Birds are getting at my tomatoes as well.  I'll come home and find half a tomato on the vine still.  Bright read, but half eaten.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 12, 2009, 03:01:54 PM
Roswell, I looked everywhere around here and had no luck. WalMart had some briefly before i decided to do it, Lowes said they put their stock on sale in mid June to clear it and the Home Depot orange aprons looked at me like a dog listening to a radio both times I asked about it. Couple of boutique nurseries couple order it but I found plenty online from the manufacturers I could order.  Lucked into this stuff from a friend who salvaged some for his wife's backyard chicken coup- I asked where he got it and he said he scavenged it but had plenty more so I took a couple scraps home for this experiment.


I took care of the one squirrel that had taken any interest in my garden this morning with a single Remington subsonic HP through my MK II with Outback screwed on tight- my urban pest assassin weapon of choice. (I think I recall that we both posted in a 22 can thread over in modern firearms). :)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 12, 2009, 03:07:42 PM
I need to find a cheap source for that netting.  Birds are getting at my tomatoes as well.  I'll come home and find half a tomato on the vine still.  Bright read, but half eaten.

Evilrob,

Home depot has both "deer netting" and "bird netting" for under $20.   It is the same stuff, the deer netting is something like 7'x100' and the bird netting is 14'x50' IIRC

It is a furkin cluster to mess with; it goes invisible to me when i start moving it around and it hands on everything.  I used the deer stuff folded double @ 3.5' to surround my garden to keep out cats and my bro-in-law's pooch that visits sometimes, you can see it in the pics barely.  I tried to use it with the tomatoes but it wasn't broad enough, so I bought the bird stuff too.  I'll use the other 2/3s of it to cover my corn later I'm sure.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 12, 2009, 03:31:50 PM
Got the connections cut and assembled today for the rain barrel system.  This is the whole thing upside down just pinned together before i glued it:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden076.jpg)

I'm going to run in underground to my garden in 1 1/2" pipe for volume. The 4 barrels will sit on this platform back against the house 60 feet away

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden080.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: “Mark” on July 12, 2009, 03:41:51 PM
Have you considered raising the barrels to get more water pressure? You'll get roughly half a psi per foot of elevation (to the top of the water). When your barrels are almost empty, you'll have little pressure.

Also, if you put air holes in all the barrels, the water only needs to flow into one, and will balance through your piping system.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 12, 2009, 04:30:10 PM
Mark,

The gutter downspout is going to be diverted into the back left corner barrel and the air holes will be drilled in once I get the 4 assembled.  I designed the system to fill all barrels equally, including the 5th barrel that I can add in the run closer to the garden.

I was going to stack blocks 3 high until I went i used a sight level to approximate the drop to the top of my raised beds. It will be 2.5-3 feet drop at least on just one block; I didn't want to have to raise the 5th barrel so much downstream. 

From what i have read from most folks who have multiple barrels installed, a foot or two elevation gave them enough pressure but some did complain that the flow was lower than they had hoped since they used 3/4" or less pvc for the piping.  Hence the 1 1/2" pvc for the 60 Ft run from the barrels to my garden.

A large part of my roof drains down this downspout.  My house is "U" shaped on the roofline and the inside of the "U" runs down the pipe.  The horizontal area that drains is 1200' IIRC and my calcs come up with under 3/4" of rain to fill the 4 barrels.  The overflow is going to be at the end of the run where the 5th barrel is close to the hedge in some of the photos.  On the other side of the hedge is the alley that runs beside my house; it will get the overflow.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: “Mark” on July 13, 2009, 04:06:51 PM
Sounds awesome  :)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 15, 2009, 07:57:15 PM
Note:

Rigid trench shovel is a nice addition to the shovel set. I think it was $25 or so.

http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/4-Trenching-Shovel-Wood-Handle/EN/index.htm (http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/4-Trenching-Shovel-Wood-Handle/EN/index.htm)

I have the fiberglass handle version of this, I can dig a deep straight walled trench with this at a constant bottom grade.  I did a little digging this evening on what will eventually be a 60ft trench.  In the bottom will be two pvc water pipes (one for water barrels and one fore city water) and power.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on July 15, 2009, 09:18:50 PM
hey cohutt, nice job man...looks awesome!

I am going to do single rain barel collection in two different spots around my house.  I didn't even think to turn the barrels upside down and use 1 1/2 plumbing.  will this work ok for single barrel systems too?  if you wouldn't mind, I would be greatly appreciative if you could send me a couple links that you used for resources.  I went out the other day and spent all this money on brass fittings and fixtures, rubber seals, etc...but I was planning on just hooking a hose directly to my barrel.  I only have two and since they are going to be in different locations I don't think...well I don't know what to think now!   ??? 

I wonder if I can make a spicket valve adapt to pvc in a way that I could use the upside down method.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 16, 2009, 04:07:42 AM
I'll dig the links up but for now consider this:

I discovered that the two bungs in the barrels each have a standard thread on them.

One is a standard 2" fine thread that male threaded schedule 40 screws into just fine with a little elbow grease and lube.
The second is a 2" coarse thread of some sort that I am not familiar with BUT the plastic stopper (for lack of a better term) has a punch out hole in it that is standard schedule 40 fine thread in 1/2" (I think 1/2", best to check).  I just took one of each type to the plumbing fixture rack and tested them on fittings there to be sure.

I necked the 2" down to 1.5" for the main run to the 5th barrel and garden, which is what i was digging some on the trench for last night.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: yrone on July 16, 2009, 04:11:50 AM
Yeah better get that one off the vine before someone comes over and snatches it off hehe. The garden is looking GREAT!!! Congrats.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 16, 2009, 04:21:56 AM
links for sherker:

http://www.emmitsburg.net/archive_list/articles/gardening/water_barrel.htm (http://www.emmitsburg.net/archive_list/articles/gardening/water_barrel.htm)

http://www.kidsfromkanata.ca/files/rainbarrels.html (http://www.kidsfromkanata.ca/files/rainbarrels.html)

http://www.broward.org/extension/pdf/waterconservation.pdf (http://www.broward.org/extension/pdf/waterconservation.pdf)

http://skagit.wsu.edu/MG/images/RainBarrel/RainBarrelSetup.pdf (http://skagit.wsu.edu/MG/images/RainBarrel/RainBarrelSetup.pdf)

My adobe is goofed up on the laptoip right now so I'm not sure which one had the barrels upside down, which gave me the balls to think they'd hold together inverted.  We'll know soon enough,lol.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on July 16, 2009, 06:06:26 AM
so the 4 barrels are plumbed to the 5th barrel which is where you have your hose spicket? 

I will check out the links when I have more time, thanks a lot though...

been meaning to ask you another question...what the pic of the shack/cabin under your info on the left side (it has a name, I just can't think of it right now)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 16, 2009, 06:46:45 PM
so the 4 barrels are plumbed to the 5th barrel which is where you have your hose spicket? 

I will check out the links when I have more time, thanks a lot though...

been meaning to ask you another question...what the pic of the shack/cabin under your info on the left side (it has a name, I just can't think of it right now)
Actually the 5th barrel will be closer to the spicket but will be away from it a little- as long as i am running all the buried pvc I'm going to run, I'm going to put a run to the spicket at the garden corner. The barrel will be against a fence about 15 feet from the spicket and 60 form the 4 barrels at the downspout.

The "avatar" picture is of cabin/ BOL up against the Cohutta wilderness:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Millsap%20misc/Millsap008.jpg)

view from the porch- everything you see is on the property :)


(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Millsap%20misc/Millsap006.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on July 16, 2009, 09:01:42 PM
dude that is awesome...is that in Georgia too?  I am not familiar with cohutta?  How many acres do you have?  I have been looking at that unitedcountry.com website that jack talks about in episode 30'ish and I checked out some properties...there are so many cool ones out there.  some of the requirements that I put in the search were 5+ acres, water, and mountains...there are some 'butes in Tennessee
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 17, 2009, 04:40:17 AM
dude that is awesome...is that in Georgia too?  I am not familiar with cohutta?  How many acres do you have?  I have been looking at that unitedcountry.com website that jack talks about in episode 30'ish and I checked out some properties...there are so many cool ones out there.  some of the requirements that I put in the search were 5+ acres, water, and mountains...there are some 'butes in Tennessee

133

From Sherguides.com:

The Cohutta Wilderness covers 36,977 acres (about 60 square miles) that spill over the Georgia/Tennessee border and lie within the 95,265-acre Cohutta Wildlife Management Area. It was designated as a wilderness in 1975. Hemp Top was added in 1986, making this the third largest mountain wilderness area in the East.

The Cohuttas share a unique distinction with the Rich Mountains in having round, flat-topped ridges and peaks covered with deep, black soils. In most of the Eastern Blue Ridge, on the other hand, the higher the elevation, the rockier and thinner the soils. This characteristic of the Cohuttas profoundly affects the plant communities. Rich-soil ridges are often carpeted with lush ferns and knee-high herbs. The wilderness is home to a variety of wildlife. Deer and black bears make their home here, as do wild boar and a variety of smaller creatures such as bobcats and squirrels.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on July 17, 2009, 08:51:28 AM
I love the Cohutta WMA.  I went turkey hunting up there a few times this past season.  No luck, but I did see A LOT of wild boar tracks and signs where they had been rooting up as well as some deer and squirrels. Very pretty country.  Cohutt, let me know if you ever want to go hunting together.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on July 17, 2009, 12:38:02 PM
That is badass 133 acres!  I would love to get that much land, don't think I could afford 133 acres though!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 18, 2009, 05:40:44 PM
Corn took off this week and is in the netting.   some of the roma beans are up to 1" long.  lettuce expirement started with sprouts under the shade cloth and indoors.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden079.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden080.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 18, 2009, 05:52:40 PM
Rain barrels installed and pipe connections made; thankfully no leaks.  I'll cut the downspout tommorrow and install a diverter to load the corner barrel.  i cut a small hole to test fill the barrels; a 1/4" air hole in the other 3 was all that was needed to get water rising in all 4 evenly.


(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden085.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden086.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 18, 2009, 06:00:11 PM
I have about half of the trench dug out for the pipe to get the water to the garden area as well as the normal water service I plan on running.  It gets old busting the churt and Georgia clay that is a few inches under the sod; I get it started then fil it with water a couple times to soften what is underneath- helps some.  Anyway I've made the turn toward where the 5th barrel will be by the fence.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden087.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on July 18, 2009, 07:35:50 PM
Thanks for the update cohutt 

I really want to express how inspiring this thread has been.
Every time I see your name on the thread, I know you've updated it or passed on a little more info and I get so excited I just can't wait to click the link.
I know realistically that I won't be able to do any rain harvesting until next year at best, but I still get so amped by your progress!
Thanks again for sharing this step by step with us.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on July 18, 2009, 07:51:48 PM
I agree keep them coming, I plan to start on mine sometime next week once I get a couple of other half started projects out of the way!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on July 18, 2009, 08:00:02 PM
awesome dude! keep the pics coming brother
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 18, 2009, 08:10:39 PM
Thanks, posting this helps keep me motivated to make incremental progress, otherwise I'll end up with a big unfinished project that my wife can remind me of every day.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on July 19, 2009, 11:46:54 AM
Cohutt, I just checked the bunges on my barrels and unscrewed the caps...the threading seems to be bigger, and with deeper threads...did you find this to be the same with yours?  Im gonna see if I can get a 2" male adapter to go in there
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 19, 2009, 02:43:26 PM
sherker, one was a large coarse thread i didn't recognize and one was a normal thread that 2" schedule 40 screws right into. Mine had a "solid" one (the fine thread) and a "punchout" one (coarse thread), both 2".
 The punchout one had another 1" threaded hole in it that looked like it could be punched out of the bottom, so that a standard 1" threaded fitting could screw in.

(Bad description I know, maybe a pic would work better. )
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 19, 2009, 03:13:17 PM
Corn stabilizing netting:

Planting high concentrations of corn in the shallow, soft "Mel's mix" of a square foot garden is asking for trouble around here. We regularly have gusty winds around summer thundershowers that would easily knock over the whole stand once it gets some height on it.

Solution:  
4x4' channel posts +
garden trellis netting

Drive the 4 posts in a few inches outsdie of the corners of the corn squares

suspend netting horizontally over young corn. Be sure to pull tight in all directions.

Wait for corn to grow through


this corn patch is a 3'x3' grid of "Devotion" corn planted 4x/ft.   The leaves of Devotion are substantially broader and longer than that of "Silver queen" so it would really catch the wind.  Note that to pull things tight a row of netting is hanging outside of the posts.

The corn from the side, now above the netting:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden085.jpg)

Underisde of netting with corn growing through now

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden083.jpg)

Top view of netting with corn growing through now

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden084.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on July 19, 2009, 07:16:16 PM
I think I will do this with my corn as well...can you get the post and netting at Home depot or lowes?
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 19, 2009, 07:49:59 PM
Posts are at Home Depot

I ordered the netting from an online garden supply website - something like $14.00 for 50' x 4' delivered. 

I dyed it so it wouldn't stand out so much by dipping the balled up netting into the dark stain leftover from what i used on my beds. After i dipped it I dropped it into a couple inches of water to let it even up- came out grey which did the trick.  Mrs Cohutt was pleased. 

I also use it on a frame to stake my tomato plants

 
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on July 19, 2009, 09:29:54 PM
are the posts those metal green posts that have fins at the bottom to hold into the ground better, and places all the way up the post where you can tie stuff off and it wont move???

got a link for that netting?  was it white?
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 20, 2009, 04:28:26 AM
are the posts those metal green posts that have fins at the bottom to hold into the ground better, and places all the way up the post where you can tie stuff off and it wont move???

got a link for that netting?  was it white?

yes. home depot has them in several lengths, these are 4ft.

For some reason i didn't save the site where i bought the netting.  I searched my old emails for the confirmation of the order. no luck, but all i did was search fro "trellis netting" and there were several entries.  burpee makes some and ace hardware can order iirc.
yes it was white.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 20, 2009, 04:48:27 AM
Sunday's progress on the raincatch system:

I got that damn trench finished all the way to where the 5th barrel will be. This includes getting it under the shale stone path that runs down the middle of my yard.   
I've lifted some of those stones before and it is much more difficult to get them back laying correctly again, so I decided just to go under them.  The zoysia had covered them up 75% again (time to weed-whack/edge the whole walkway again before i loose them) so I ripped back the turf to the edge of the stones first. 
The trenching shovel was sufficient to get under, worked it from both sides.

After i got the trench done i made the connections for the 1 1/2" pvc. I left it uncovered since I haven't run the 1/2" water service out yet; I plan on doing that one evening this week even it I don't make the connect back at the house right away.

trenching under the stone path:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden088.jpg)

From the collection point to the turn:

 (http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden089.jpg)

from the turn to the 5th barrel's future location at the fence You can see the silver queen and beans in corner of garden is to the left.  (The mist is from a cheap mist making hose fixture I picked up and use when i have to work in the direct sun on hot days- it drops the temp enough to make a difference if I place it just upwind from me.  If it is really hot and there isn't a steady breeze I put a fan behind it.)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden090.jpg)

from the 5th barrel location back to the stone path:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden091.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on July 20, 2009, 09:21:49 AM
looking awesome man! i'm taking some serious notes! :) are you finding the soil a problem? ie: sand, rocks, clay? or is ur soil just dirt?
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 20, 2009, 11:27:59 AM
looking awesome man! I'm taking some serious notes! :) are you finding the soil a problem? IE: sand, rocks, clay? or is ur soil just dirt?

The soil in my raised beds came from a store, leaves and a cow's rear end.  :)

The dirt where the trench is was hardpan clay under about 3-5" of OK dirt from the barrels all the way to the walkway. It improved some towards the end as that is further from where the original hill ended before they graded out my "lot".   Now the grading took place back in 1869 so I don't have any before pictures or topos lol.  Basically my lot is right at the botton of a small in town hill where the flat river bottom meets it.

Everytime i have done any sort of digging I have found interesting stuff- old glass, and broken tool parts, busted bricks used for fill, chunks of coal, and even a boars tusk (probably after a pig roast 100 years ago.)  This time it was mainly clay and broken bricks although i did scratch the local tan & lavender shale bedrock in one area (breaks up fairly easily).
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on July 20, 2009, 12:33:21 PM
cool. seems like you got a little piece of heaven
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Newb Survivalist on July 20, 2009, 12:46:11 PM
truly inspirational Cohutt. Makes me want to spend more time in the backyard.

-keep it up, you got us hooked on watching your progress, so keep the posts coming. i want to see that harvest!

-newb
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 20, 2009, 04:38:27 PM
Cohutt, I just checked the bunges on my barrels and unscrewed the caps...the threading seems to be bigger, and with deeper threads...did you find this to be the same with yours?  Im gonna see if I can get a 2" male adapter to go in there

I realized i had a picture of the top of one of the barrels-

the far one had the standard threads; the close on had standard 1" threads in the punch out section of the big bung but the threads on the big bung were very large and coarse like what you are describing.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/garden039.jpg)


This is the PVC piece I found that screwed right into the barrel- to be sure i carried both bung stoppers (?) with me to the supply store and tested.  Again, this one had a standard thread, not the coarse thread.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/garden040.jpg)



Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on July 20, 2009, 07:14:53 PM
thanks man, that really helps, I am going to take a closer look at it over the next couple of days and see what I can do.  the bung caps that you have look like a better quality, but over all they look the same.  I'll keep you posted if you want.  thanks again!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 25, 2009, 06:47:03 PM
Weekend update:

Everything is growing pretty well.  I harvested some Roma beans for dinner last night and even my son liked them.  Go figure.

Corn Devotion (on left) is about to tassel out and stands about 6' now.  Silver Queen is a couple weeks behind.

Seeded some lettuce inside and transplanted to under the shade cloth frame; it was 95 here today but I spot checked the soil under there and it was substantially cooler than that in the sun.  Maybe this will work, who knows.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden093.jpg)

You can see the water pipe trench on the right at the corner of the garden - that's what I spent all day on today, will post progress in a little while:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden091.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 25, 2009, 07:50:29 PM
I'm almost to the garden now with the two pipes- the raincatch one and the city water service.

I had to think through the layout around the 5th barrel- this is where i put the overflow pipe for the whole system as well as a trap to be able to flush the last of the system with clean water if i needed to.

from under the stone walkway to the junction where barrel # 5 will go:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden186.jpg)

The 5th barrel will be on blocks here; there has been a couple feet of drop vs the other 4 barrels and the top of the barrel will be roughly even with the tall pipe.  This pipe is the overflow pipe for the whole deal and will be routed through the fence to where the water flows into the alley beside my house.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden190.jpg)


More detail of the plumbing under the barrel:
the barrel will connect to the 2" flared pipe on the right.
The over flow is the tall pipe that goes up next to the fence in the back
The cleaning trap is in the line as it turns towards the corner of the garden
the skinny pipe is city water from my house.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden189.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 25, 2009, 07:55:14 PM
This the view from the garden corner back up to the 5th barrel location (I put the dirt from the trench on a pallet covered with plastic so I wouldn't fry the grass underneath and then went to garbage can lids once the pallet was full) :


(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden187.jpg)


And finally the shot from the 5th barrel to the garden.  All the wood chucnks and pieces are form the maple tree roots for the dead tree that is right next to the 5th barrel's locations.  I've been wailing a mattock more than I intended to today.


(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden188.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on July 26, 2009, 10:31:26 PM
cohutt, shouldn't the overflow be at the higher barrels?  wont it overflow automatically since the 5th barrel is lower?
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 27, 2009, 04:24:20 AM
cohutt, shouldn't the overflow be at the higher barrels?  wont it overflow automatically since the 5th barrel is lower?

The overflow pipe's top is flush with the top  of the main 4 barrels, which is why it is so high vs the ground at the location of the 5th barrel.
The 5th barrel is raised enough to bring it roughly to the same level as the other 4.

The overflow doesn't have to be at the location of the 4 barrels but it has to be cut to match their tops or else they will drain off before being full as you pointed out.  I went to some lengths to calibrate/measure Saturday to measure and mark the 4 barrel's level at the location of the 5th barrel.  If you look closely you can see a black magic marker line on the fence to the right of the pipe that marks the bottom level of the barrels. the top is marked too on the same board but hard to spot.

It should make more sense when i post the pics of the finished system shortly- wrapped it up yesterday.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 27, 2009, 04:36:19 AM
I think what is confusing is the fact that the section of 2" pipe that connects to the bottom of the 5th barrel isn't in the pictures above, only the 1.5" pipe and the reducer the connector pipe will fit into. The 2" pipe was 14" iirc.


OK, the 5th barrel is installed:

I had a couple spare pieces of 1.5" sch40 that i temporarily used to divert the drain back behind the barrel so that the water won't run down the trench to the garden and erode it before i get it filled and the sod replaced.  I'll actually cut a hole in the fence and run it straight back when finished.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden197.jpg)


sherker you can see the additional piece below the barrel in this shot:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden196.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 27, 2009, 04:51:09 AM
The 5th barrel and overflow viewed from the garden gives a better idea of the drop involved. My yard looks pretty flat but there actually is sufficient grade to get decent flow from the barrels.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden099.jpg)

The pipes at the garden corner-

The green handled valve is the city water service.

The red handled valve and the pipe above the ground is the raincatch system.  I went ahead and tee'd it for ease of finishing it off (pipe around the perimeter with more valves to run drip maybe?) there is a trap at the end of the pipe running out of the picture- i can shut off the water from the main group of barrels and open this and trap upstream and flush out to bottom of the system where the 3/4" pipe is.  I can also drain the entire system from it in the winter.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/Garden198.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on July 27, 2009, 10:17:14 PM
"I see" said the blind man, who picked up his hammer and saw...

Same principle as a water level...now I got ya, I thought that you were going to have a huge height difference...and didn't take into consideration that an overflow pipe could go up...

What would happen if you did the over flows at the top though?  would you not get the the right amount of air to move with the water?  I guess you have breather holes/hole at the top 4 barrels...

Just drove up and back from NJ to FL this weekend...they are really doing some work on 95 man, but it seems like they always are...SC is getting some done too
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 28, 2009, 04:37:18 AM
"I see" said the blind man, who picked up his hammer and saw...

Same principle as a water level...now I got ya, I thought that you were going to have a huge height difference...and didn't take into consideration that an overflow pipe could go up...

What would happen if you did the over flows at the top though?  would you not get the the right amount of air to move with the water?  I guess you have breather holes/hole at the top 4 barrels...

Just drove up and back from NJ to FL this weekend...they are really doing some work on 95 man, but it seems like they always are...SC is getting some done too

I decided to have the overflow at the bottom so that any water that flushes out is on a lower part of my yard and closer to the property line when it hits the ground.  Yes I have "blow holes" or breather holes in the 4 barrels that don't have the downspout intake cut into them.

I ran the overflow from the underground line for a couple of reasons. 

First, it was adjustable once i got the whole system piped up:  I measured it slightly long when i glued it in. Then put some water in the system and let it settle to provide the "gravity doesn't lie" water level  I needed to make an accurate cut just below the top of the upper barrels.  Since the lower barrel was about 1.5" lower than the top 4 when all was said and done, I cut it vs the top barrel's overflow line and will put some sort of tube in the blowhole of barrel #5 that is 1.5" or slightly longer to keep it from leaking there when the system is full.

Secondly, I figured even though water will level out in this system, it doesn't take a little time for it to happen IE the water moving though the system won't be all at the same level during a downpour.  (This is just like the tide up a tidal creek being behind the tide in the ocean in the same area. ) I figured the 1.5" connector tube underground would be a better mechanism to lessen this effect vs overflows at one or more barrel tops.

Sorry for the wordy answer, hope it helps. 

I'll be on 95 in SC tommorrow for about 30 miles as I traverse the state west to east to get to the coast. Hopefully this stretch is both construction and idiot-free. 
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on July 28, 2009, 05:09:17 PM
Looking great cohutt!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on July 28, 2009, 05:49:34 PM
it's getting pretty luscious man!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on July 28, 2009, 07:50:38 PM
Holy Chit we got some rain today! finally!  

We had a couple of good squalls hit this afternoon that dumped a little on us.  I checked when I got home and the barrels were frickin full.  I got some dinner and was going to pick some beans and cut the front yard when a big front moved in and another inch or so hit us.

Observations:  the capacity of the overflow isn't enough to keep up with the volume in a decent thunderstorm so I have to make some adjustments.  I'll probably make a diverter at the point where the downspout hits the first barrel; it shouldn't be too much trouble to run it back into the drain it was going into since it is right there. Hmmm.....

I noticed the blowhole in the lower barrel was draining out due to the height difference between the upper 4 and this barrel.  I couldn't stand it so I made a quick fix extender out of some tubing and a berdan primed rifle case of some commie caliber in my scrap brass bucket.  Woot! it worked!  The water line is flush with the bottom of the drainpipe in the background.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/garden%20raincatch%20system/IMG00148.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 03, 2009, 05:37:16 PM
Corn!

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden103.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 03, 2009, 05:45:34 PM
The corn in the picture above is "Devotion" and is a good 10 days or more ahead of the silver queen planted at the same time.  We've had a lot of rain in the last few days while i was out of town; we had a few storms and i was glad to find all my stalks still standing, so the trellis netting brace was a success.

I was really stunned how much this grew while I was gone. Last 6 days ago it was a little above eye level to me.  Now it's not. Geez.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden100-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on August 03, 2009, 05:53:36 PM
Wow!  Your stuff is looking great. ;)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 03, 2009, 06:24:54 PM
Looking good.  Hopefully my Fall garden will start looking like this.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on August 03, 2009, 06:43:06 PM
Looking good cohutt !
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on August 03, 2009, 09:04:09 PM
Nice corn Cohutt.  That is crazy tall. Between that and the beans alone you will be set for veggies for a while. 
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on August 04, 2009, 08:21:39 AM
awesome garden!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: CenTexPrep on August 04, 2009, 06:10:05 PM
What an inspiration! 
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 04, 2009, 07:07:20 PM
Thanks guys. 

I just ate a bowl of fresh squash and 'maters for dinner. Yum.

Romas - lowest daily yeild in 10 days today, a tad less than yesterday.  Lima pods are coming on fast, just in time with the Romas petering out.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden105.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Sister Wolf on August 04, 2009, 07:11:33 PM
oh man *drool* that looks sooooooooo delicious.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 05, 2009, 07:30:40 PM
Rain+rain+squash+rain+rain= fuzz growing off of dead blossoms and a couple of little squashes (squish?)

Hairy mold type stuff, long stranded grayish. Definitely originated on the withered blossoms then crept up onto the body.

I culled anything that had it on it hope that the slightly cooler dryer day today helps avoid it returning.  

Any similar experiences?
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 06, 2009, 04:38:09 AM
Did some searching and found some info on the squash rot.  Not encouraging unless we dry out just a little here.


Ecerpted from a really thorough squash page I found, http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1014/ (http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1014/) way down the page :

(http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1014/images/img_8.jpg)

Choanephora Wet Rot
Wet rot, caused by the fungus Choanephora cucurbitarum, is a fruit rot of summer squash.
SYMPTOMS. Fruits rot rapidly and white fungal mold appears on the infected area. With time, fruit look like a pin cushion with numerous small, black-headed pins stuck in it (Figure 8 ). Initially, the heads are white to brown but turn purplish-black within a few days. Affected flowers, pedicels, and immature fruit become water-soaked, and a soft, wet-rot develops. An entire fruit can rot in a 24 to 48 hour period. Symptoms usually begin on the blossom end of the fruit.

PERSISTENCE AND TRANSMISSION. The fungus overwinters as a saprophyte (living on dead plant tissue) and/or in a dormant spore form (such as a chlamydospore or zygospore). In spring, fungal spores are spread to squash flowers by wind and by insects such as bees and cucumber beetles. Infection occurs through the blossom, into the fruit and stem. Development of wet rot is favored by high relative humidity and excessive rainfall.

CONTROL. There are no effective control practices available for wet rot at this time. Fungicide sprays are impractical because new blossoms open daily and need to be protected soon after development. Drip irrigation may reduce development and spread of the disease during dry seasons.

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on August 06, 2009, 08:03:47 AM
That sucks!  I have been having that same problem an hour or two south of you on my squash. It has me paranoid about watering them at all, ever.  I also made the mistake of buying a squash plant from Home Depot rather than planting a hardier heirloom variety.  Next year i will not make that mistake.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: nikki1843 on August 06, 2009, 08:17:54 AM
Wow, your garden is really looking good. I can't wait till next year, I want some corn like yours. Great job.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 06, 2009, 08:25:20 AM
Wow, your garden is really looking good. I can't wait till next year, I want some corn like yours. Great job.

If you have some space to plant, you can plant for a fall harvest. That's what I just did.  I planted a bed of snap beans, a bed of corn that will have some pole beans, and a bed of broccoli.  I don't know if the corn will produce in time, but I'm giving it a try.  I looked for the shortest time to production when looking at the seeds.  The corn is hybrid, but the others are all open pollinated.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: UncleJoe on August 07, 2009, 09:43:49 PM
WOW!!! That rainwater system is way beyond impressive. I picked up a 250 gal plastic tank off CL, and put a couple of fittings on it to attach garden hose. I've been showing it off to anyone that would look at it. I am now humbled in the presence of greatness. Nice set-up.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 08, 2009, 05:21:34 AM
Thanks UncleJoe.

After showing the system to a friend last week, he said that he can get me the big caged food grade tanks for free (surplus).  250 and 400+ gallons i think.

All I could say was "now you tell me".

:)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 09, 2009, 05:54:33 PM
I got several things done today. 
One thing I wanted to do was come up with a CRB (CheapRatBastard) seed sprouting setup that included degradable pots that i can plant right into the garden pot and all.  I decided to try newspaper pots and conveniently found a couple of deli sandwich/cookie trays at work that were the right size.

I grabbed a scrap piece of 1 3/4" pvc and some newspaper out of the recycling bin and experimented until i came up with the following:

1 I used a full page, full meaning not opened - like the whole front page for example. 
2. I folded in half twice long ways so that was 4 layers thick.
3. Using the pvc, I rolled the folded newspaper up as tight as i could with about 2" of it on the pvc and a little less overhanging the end of the pipe.
4. While still on the pipe, i folded one side of the overhanging paper flat over the end of the pipe, then repeated with the other side. I then pushed the rest flat at the end and forced it into the inside of the pipe slightly.
5. To finish I pushed the end of the pipe hard against the countertop I was working on to make a crisp edge and then slid the cupped paper off the end and applied one staple at the top edge at the overlap.

This is what they looked like when finished:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden108.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 09, 2009, 06:09:27 PM
I wanted the soil to match what is in the garden so I made up some Mel's mix.  For this application I screened my compost for a finer grain for consistency.  I used a wire CD storage bin that for the last couple of years has been my range brass collection bin.  
It worked pretty well - as you can see the compost was in pretty good shape to begin with except for some big stick ends, pecan shell remnants and similar -

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden106.jpg)


(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden107.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 09, 2009, 06:21:55 PM
Once I mixed the batch of screened compost with equal amounts of peat and vermiculite (IE Mel's mix), I filled all 19 of the little newspaper pots.

Why 19?  Because 19 is the number of this sized pot that fits perfectly on hat the free plastic deli tray thing that will hold them.

One thing I'd like to note:  The dry Mel's mix wasn't heavy enough to settle the filled pots flat on their bases as you can see below. Once I wet the soil, they all settled relatively flat and level, I just don't have a picture to share yet.

Without cover:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden109.jpg)

With cover:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden110.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on August 09, 2009, 06:30:16 PM
Very nice.
Like a little greenhouse.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on August 09, 2009, 09:08:42 PM
Hey Cohutt, nice job man!  For reference sake, how tall are you?
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on August 09, 2009, 09:16:36 PM
Hey Cohutt, nice job man!  For reference sake, how tall are you?

My sources tell me Cohutt is over 9' tall.
 ;D
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 10, 2009, 04:03:38 AM
Hey Cohutt, nice job man!  For reference sake, how tall are you?

Not very, and certainly not 9'.

5'8' on a good day...  :)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on August 10, 2009, 06:52:18 AM
Not very, and certainly not 9'.

5'8' on a good day...  :)

Are you at least bulletproof or did Hare lie about that too.  lol

still at 5'8" that is some tall corn my friend.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 10, 2009, 04:39:28 PM
Hopefully I'll never know whether I'm bullet proof or not....  in the meantime I'm operating on the assumption that I'm not.
;)

One of the other things I got done was to build a "second level" box so i can make a portion of one of my beds up to 12" deep; I'm thinking of the fall carrots i ordered from seedsavers last week.

Basically i repeated the construction basics of the first level beds- 2x6 stained dark and screwed together with 3" decking screws.

My cordless drill battery was dead so I stained the boards while it was charging.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden111.jpg)


Assembled, this sturdy box is 2' x 4' so it will cover 1/4 of one of the beds.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden112.jpg)


This is a piss poor angle to show the depth of the bed but here it is after dropping it on the bed and adding 8 cubic feet of fresh Mel's mix.  I'll try and improve and post a better shot later.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden114.jpg)

I figure these 8 squares give me potentially 128 carrots this fall @ 4x4 or 16 per foot.

We will see how it goes........
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on August 10, 2009, 08:53:20 PM
I built most of my beds with 2x12's so I may be able to plant in them as is...
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Bloodyboots on August 10, 2009, 10:22:37 PM
Hey Cohutt, just wondering, which would work better for the seed pots, newspaper or brown paper bags? 

Just got to thinking, the brown bags would hold together longer and retain water more, and be more nutritious for the plants than newspaper.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 11, 2009, 04:17:52 AM
Hey Cohutt, just wondering, which would work better for the seed pots, newspaper or brown paper bags?  

Just got to thinking, the brown bags would hold together longer and retain water more, and be more nutritious for the plants than newspaper.

Good question, but I don't know the answer for sure.  I used newspaper as I have used it for mulch before and had seen it used as pots by others (online).  

The newspaper is multiple layers and should last long enough to get something sprouted to a sufficient size for planting.  Something that would last just long enough to get in the ground before the pot disintegrates is ideal i guess, since you would want the roots to freely grow and expand out at that point.  I'm sprouting lettuce in these for transfer to out under my shade cloth structure so i don't need them to last more than a couple weeks really. (it is too hot here for good germination of direct sown lettuce.)

As far as nutrition, I'm not worried since the mix in them is Mel's mix, which includes 1/3 by volume composted leaves, manure etc.  

Try some and see- I have a roll of brown heavy duty contractor "floor guard" paper I use for target backing that I might try if these don't work out.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 11, 2009, 04:26:23 AM
Better shots of the newly added "second level" section of bed:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden118.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden120.jpg)

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 12, 2009, 07:14:39 PM
Adding soil to SFG:

I commented in another thread that I'd seen a lot of SFG raised beds that weren't filled to the top edge with soil.  Well, I looked at mine and noticed that the fluffy Mel's mix had settled down about an inch in some parts of the garden- seems like it's those areas getting the most watering.   

What made me notice was the funky air-roots coming out of the base of one of my little corn stands- the "Devotion" one.  It has a stouter stalk and broader leaves than the Silver Queen I also put in as well as these odd growths.

Look at these things:

  (http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden113.jpg)


Anyway, I figured I'd fill in around them to add back the settled soil.  Mel's advice is to add only compost back to the mix when replacing or replenishing soil. I figured at this point the compost would serve two purposes here- to conserve moisture as a mulch layer plus feed the corn for the last of the ears' development. 

So an inch or two is now piled over the first layer of funky roots and I'm waiting for the first harvest:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden115.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on August 12, 2009, 07:47:13 PM
You forgot to say how much work it was spreading all that mulch.
Great job dude!
Its a wonderful thing when the harvest comes and all that work gets rewarded.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Bloodyboots on August 13, 2009, 11:31:39 PM
Adding soil to SFG:
What made me notice was the funky air-roots coming out of the base of one of my little corn stands- the "Devotion" one.  It has a stouter stalk and broader leaves than the Silver Queen I also put in as well as these odd growths.

Those are pretty common, I've seen them on corn all my life, regardless if it was organic, mass farmed, or hobby grown. They re just roots that formed above ground, commonly called "Brace" roots, though they don't really brace it. They do however scavenge the top level of soil for nutrients, so covering them up shouldn't hurt.

http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/Roots.html (http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/Roots.html)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 14, 2009, 11:55:11 AM
Thanks bloody boots + 1; I'm down in soybean and cotton country and corn is a bit of a novelty to me.  That's an interesting site; obviously Indiana is corn country if Purdue has a whole website series dedicated to it. 

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on August 14, 2009, 12:03:48 PM
Thanks bloody boots + 1; I'm down in soybean and cotton country and corn is a bit of a novelty to me.  That's an interesting site; obviously Indiana is corn country if Purdue has a whole website series dedicated to it. 


I saw comedian Heywood Banks at a club in Indianapolis and he sang a song about Iowa but opened it by saying this is what he thought as he drove to Indianapolis.
Here's the lyrics:

'Interstate 80 Iowa'

Mississippi River
Davenport
Corn, corn, corn, corn
Corn, corn, corn
'whats that smell?'
Corn, corn, corn
Iowa City
Corn, corn, corn, corn
'Look at tree'
Corn, corn, corn, Des Moines
Corn, corn, corn, corn, corn
'Theres that smell again'
Corn, corn, corn
Council Bluffs, Missouri River
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 15, 2009, 07:19:10 PM
Dog Vomit Slime Mold has invaded my garden.  3 cases in the cypress mulch then this morning one in and on some baby lima plants.   At 530 I soaked the upper deck that is going to get the carrot seeds tommorrow; just now I went out and it had spouted in less than 3 hours to this:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden123.jpg)

Day old DVSM on the beans:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden124.jpg)

Apparently it is harmless, thankfully:  http://www.personal.psu.edu/sam21/dogvomit.htm (http://www.personal.psu.edu/sam21/dogvomit.htm)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 15, 2009, 08:42:28 PM
Interesting.  It is actually called dog vomit.  I thought you were making that up.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: TexDaddy on August 15, 2009, 09:02:21 PM
Interesting.  It is actually called dog vomit.  I thought you were making that up.
Better than me. I thought he needed to take his dog to the vet.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 16, 2009, 05:49:49 AM
yuk


First thing this morning around 7:30 AM

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden125.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on August 16, 2009, 04:08:11 PM
I get that sometimes. Mostly in the spring.
I had no idea what it was.
I've tried everything to kill it.
Bleach, oven cleaner, acetone, I kid you not. I've even tried taking a propane torch to it.
If anyone knows how to kill it I would sure like to know the secret.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on August 19, 2009, 08:15:39 PM
Man, the sight of that stuff makes me want to VOMIT!  I usually see it in the mulch beds in the spring around here in NJ...I think its from too much moisture...
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 22, 2009, 07:20:41 AM
Severe thunderstorms here last night right at dark-thirty.  Corn appears to have gotten a big dose of wind shear. Hopefully bent but not broken.   I'll take some pics in a while when i get out there to evaluate and fix.  Dayam!

It was a doozie, some folks nearby are still without power.   
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 22, 2009, 04:19:11 PM
The Silver Queen is skinnier on the stalk and got whacked a lot worse than the Devotion-

First thing this morning, this is what I found.  I guess it could be worse, I've heard of small plots going completely flat in this type of storm.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden127.jpg)



(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden128.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on August 22, 2009, 05:00:02 PM
Glad to see you didnt lose everything.  I've enjoyed your picture journal of the garden.  I'm getting things together to start up in spring and was good to see what you've done.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 22, 2009, 05:54:40 PM
Thanks sarahl, I keep posting cuz it keeps me working on the garden and trying new things. 

The Silver Queen actually recovered pretty well so I will call the stabilization scheme a success.  I worked from the middle and stood the stalks back up straight out to the edge. After holding them all up for a minute they stayed straight enough.  By this evening they had started following the sun again and were a little more vertical.


(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden129.jpg)


Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 22, 2009, 06:08:34 PM
The Devotion is further along than the Silver queen; it held up fine.  

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden130.jpg)

It was finally harvest time tonight and I pulled 3 ears after the water was boiling. 1 minute to shuck and 4 minutes in the water.  Dinner 100% from the Cohutt sfg, a first.   My lovely spouse has never had fresh sweet corn like this- her face said it all after the first bite.  

I think she had a corngasm, for real.


(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden134a.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on August 22, 2009, 08:50:14 PM
I think she had a corngasm, for real.

LOL  That is hilarious. I'll have to tell my wife that one.  hahaha
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 23, 2009, 06:48:25 AM
The Devotion is further along than the Silver queen; it held up fine.  


It was finally harvest time tonight and I pulled 3 ears after the water was boiling. 1 minute to shuck and 4 minutes in the water.  Dinner 100% from the Cohutt sfg, a first.   My lovely spouse has never had fresh sweet corn like this- her face said it all after the first bite.  

I think she had a corngasm, for real.

Glad they held up.  It would really suck to go this far and have the wind wipe them out.

Congrats on the dinner completely from the garden.  I won't be doing that this year, but that's the goal for next year, many dinners completely from the garden, and lots put up for Winter consumption.

Corngasm, not that's funny.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 23, 2009, 10:40:30 AM
Shadecloth & Lettuce update..

A while back I posted that I built a shade structure so I could try and grow some lettuce or spinach in the GA summer heat.  I tried lettuce sown directly and only had one germination.  This seems to have been a hot summer so far- a lot of drought type no sun days in mid to upper 90s- so i suppose the temp was too high. (?)

I tried again sprouting some inside and then transplanting.  At first it looked like about half were going to die but then they rallied.  For the last couple of weeks  they have been actually growing and appear to have turned the corner.  I have 20 more sprouted inside that will be ready to transplant in a couple weeks as well.  

The shade cloth is standard 50% stuff and i noticed that it is really effective at keeping the soil temp down and slows the evaporation dramatically. In the corn pictures up the page you can see it to get a better idea of what it is- the two top pieces pop off for easier tending-

Anyway, here is what they are looking like even after a week where temps hit 95 a few times:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden133.jpg)

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 24, 2009, 04:13:52 PM
Carrots are sprouting -

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden131.jpg)


and spinach is sprouting

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden134.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on August 24, 2009, 05:52:29 PM
Cohutt
Dude, you are inspiring me to plant a fall garden.
I usually don't do it but I think I will get started this week.
Thanks for your efforts posting all these great pictures.
Yet another +1 from.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 24, 2009, 06:19:48 PM
Karmas gladly accepted, HoC.....  :)

Also on tap for the fall:

I bought the variety sampler pack of heirloom lettuce from Seed Savers and have a flat of it sprouting right now.  

Also, my assistant at work's family owns an old fashioned seed & feed store and she brought in 18 nice little broccoli plants for me today. :) :)
It is Bonnie "Early Dividends" - supposedly 45 days to harvest.  I'll get it in in the next day or so -
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on August 24, 2009, 08:19:45 PM
You guys got me going. I'm ordering seeds tomorrow for my fall garden. I have been thinking about doing one for a while now.

It is Bonnie "Early Dividends" - supposedly 45 days to harvest.  I'll get it in in the next day or so -

Those sound good. I like the 45 day return. I might have to try those myself.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 26, 2009, 08:10:14 PM
Garden=theraputic stress reduction sidebar:

Stressful these days at work, I have to let someone go tommorrow after a position was eliminated and two good employees applied for the remaining spot.  I get to let them know what the decision is in the morning.  Yay.

To get the knots out of my neck I piddled around until dark in the garden prepping for the transition to the fall plantings.

Right as I was starting, one of my neighbors was taking his two young children for a walk and I invited them in (actually they peeked through the hedge and dropped some heavy hints) then gave the kids a little tour; they are around 3 and 5 so they were interested for a minute or two, especially when i peeled back some husk to show them the kernels hiding underneath on an ear of corn.  They each picked a couple of lima pods and were pleased to find 3 baby limas in each; they both thought the basil was "stinky" but dad gladly accepted some to take home to their mom with a couple of fresh tomatoes.

I pulled the rest of the spent beans plants  after picking the last of the baby limas.  I spread the plants out on my lawn next to the garden and double chopped/mulched them with my pushmower.  I screened some more compost out and worked the chopped plants into it, then added the rich mix to all of the squares that had beanos in them.

Next I picked the remaining 6 or 7 ripe tomatoes from my rejuvenated 'mater plants.  The higher up the plant they are it seems the better they get.

I mixed up and applied some neem oil /water solution to try and discourage the growing number of grasshoppers squatting in my plot.

Finally I picked some catnip for my junkie monster cat's nighttime buzz and retired to the shop for a few minutes to reassemble a 1911 I had stripped and given a 6 month detail cleaning last weekend.

Dinner was fresh corn, limas, tomatoes and a boneless porkchop.

I'm not looking forward to tommorrow but I do feel a whole lot better after my evening's activities, for sure.



Carry on, I'm done rambling. :)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 31, 2009, 05:18:37 PM
The transition to a fall garden is continuing-

Lettuce is perking up a little now that it is "only" 88 or 90 and a little cooler at night

First square of spinach is up and running, off to a good start

Spent bean plants are pulled, compost is worked into those squares and 44 broccoli plants are planted. Carrots continue to spout/grow.
 

Note: I realize i'm breaking the interplanting rules Mel suggests by putting down grids of broccoli.  We started mid-June with this and didn't get a good 3 season plan in motion; everything got put in late, mostly matured the same time (bush beans) and damnit we just like broccoli more than other things we could put in now. 


Brocs in the foreground:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden135.jpg)


front middle: more Brocs
front right: carrot box

middle: more more Brocs

Back: lettuce to the left of the Silver queen
(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden137.jpg)

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on August 31, 2009, 07:12:19 PM
Your garden is so nice looking and so organized.
Mine looks like a battlefield.
Anyway, thanks for keeping this thread up to date.
I love checking in here and watching your progress.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 31, 2009, 07:28:29 PM
HoC, 

When I was thinking about how I would lay out the garden I wanted to set it up so that it would be easy to keep tidy, otherwise Mrs cohutt would be bugging me to keep it neat.  She would have picked keeping it neat over keeping it productive before she had some of the harvest. 

Mainly I wanted to keep the grass out of everything and to have an easy edge to mow on the outside vs having to weed-whack or edge.  Hence the treated 2x4s laying flat, flush with the grade of the yard.

Also I wanted to have the space between the beds "barren" IE no grass weeds or anything, so I put down the cardboard and covered with mulch.

The homemade soil was virtually weed seed free and I have had to spend minimal time weeding- virtually none at all. 

I other words if I had to do much of anything maintenance wise that was indirect as in not touching my plants or the soil immediately around them, I knew it would bomb.

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: fritz_monroe on August 31, 2009, 07:39:05 PM
Sweet looking garden.  I've never looked at Mel's book, but I will be this Winter.  I didn't do any interplanting this year, and I'm suffering for it.  I've been hit this year with Mexican Bean Beetles and some sort of corn borer, but I haven't seen the borer yet.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 31, 2009, 07:40:32 PM
Squash monster escaping......


My squash "bush" has been trying to escape the 9 squares i generously allocated to it last June. I have steered it some with a piece of steel rod stuck in the ground, mainly to bend it away from the center of the bed.  It took off initially right towards the limas next door and I had to turn it away.  Now it is making a desperate run towards the dwindling Devotion corn in the bed to the east.

seriously...  

I've had issues with rot on the squash due to moister and now I am trying to save the plant from an attack of powdery mildew using a Neem oil solution.  I've cut back the leaves as they wither and now I have this ugly nubbed-up vine jumping the bed. The rot is a little better (1 of  every 3 or 4 vs 2of 3 seem to get it) since I raised the vine and fruit up off the ground on the plastic fencing.  

Ugly thang, but still trying to put out fruit despite the hardships it has endured:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden136.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on August 31, 2009, 07:44:00 PM

Just for contrast, here's the latest pic of my garden.
Sorry about the B&W, my camera is old.

(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh199/fark_bomII/WWI.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 31, 2009, 08:05:45 PM
LOL...

At least you practice low impact land management.

Ok maybe not.....
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on August 31, 2009, 08:37:40 PM
Just for contrast, here's the latest pic of my garden.
Sorry about the B&W, my camera is old.

(http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh199/fark_bomII/WWI.jpg)

So, your garden is somewhere beyond the gates of Mordor. that's pretty rough  LOL
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on August 31, 2009, 08:57:05 PM
So, your garden is somewhere beyond the gates of Mordor. that's pretty rough  LOL
That just cracked me up!
+1 Rozz!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: mngardener on September 01, 2009, 12:12:05 PM
So, your garden is somewhere beyond the gates of Mordor. that's pretty rough  LOL

almost looked like no mans land in WW I
HAHAHAH

in about 2 months mine will look the same.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 06, 2009, 10:44:01 AM
I got fired up after listening to Jack's fall garden podcast Friday (#270).  Per the previous pictures I had already started the transition with broccoli and some greens, but I figured it was time to improve/expand as suggested. 
I don't want another bed yet; instead I decide ed it was time to tackle the privet hedge/welded wire fence down the alley next to my garden.  I want to get some blueberries in and have space for raspberries as well.  I figured the space occupied by the privet was wasted space so I started taking it out Friday evening.  I couldn't safely use a chainsaw imho due to busted strands of welded wire fencing being mingled in the hedge, so i got out my two favorite machetes and got with it.
One is a Gerber "elf toe" hook type and the other is a woodsman's pal.  The woodsman's pal is great for fighting English Ivy tangles in clumps of privet stumps.
I picked up this morning where I left of Friday and have made a lot of progress. Digging up the privet roots is where I was when I took a lunch break and posted this.  Digging roots sucks if anyone had any doubts.

So thanks a lot Jack, by the time I realized what a biitch /mofo this was going to be I was way beyond the turning back point.   (Pictures to follow later today. )
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: ModernSurvival on September 06, 2009, 11:07:02 AM
cohutt,

One of the most inspiring garden posts and picture fests so far on TSPs forum.  Thank you.  I have two suggestions.

1. Stick with string as you no doubt have learned it is easy to pant around, much around, weed around, etc.  I have had a few types break in time, I switched to paracord and it holds up well.  Note para not parashoot cord.  I think the para is strong enough and it holds up will for the purpose.

2.  Try some trellises on the squash next year.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Sister Wolf on September 06, 2009, 11:47:11 AM
cohutt,

One of the most inspiring garden posts and picture fests so far on TSPs forum.  Thank you. 

I agree.  A big +1 for you, Cohutt!  :)

So, your garden is somewhere beyond the gates of Mordor. that's pretty rough  LOL

LMAO!!!!!!  I guess it's +1 morning.  Another one for you, Roz.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 06, 2009, 12:14:12 PM
Thank you both. I am taking a break standing next to a big pile of privet and posting this from my mobile.
So Jack, does this mean you will come to N GA and help me finish digging up this godawful stuff?
;)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: ModernSurvival on September 06, 2009, 12:17:51 PM
So Jack, does this mean you will come to N GA and help me finish digging up this godawful stuff?
;)

You forget I don't dig,  ;).  That big square you cut in the sod, if it were my project I would have went to a store that sells appliances and got a few fridge boxes, laid em down and mulched over the top of em. 

But hell when I get some time I would love to come see your spread and I am happy to do a bit of work with you as well, in fact I would love to.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Sister Wolf on September 06, 2009, 12:23:00 PM
And when you're done with Cohutt's house, come over here and help me with my garden.  :)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on September 06, 2009, 03:15:06 PM
Jack if you want to help someone stay here in TEXAS!!  I've got a backyard with my new house above Galveston, that has nothing, yes nothing, but a small mandarin orange tree (and grass).  Be a great place to show perma-culture from beginning to end.  Just kidding (sorta).  But I am starting in on a garden for the first time and I'm really hoping I can do it right.  Bought an organinc gardening book and Storeys homesteading book.  If I can do a quarter of what Cohutt has done I will be content.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 06, 2009, 03:53:21 PM
this is after I hacked the hedge down and started digging up the roots:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden139.jpg)

Made some progress by the end of the day:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden141.jpg)


I'm whipped.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Fred_47460 on September 06, 2009, 04:34:37 PM
I'm whipped.

Yeah man...that kinda labor is a real body burner. I'd be sore for several days after something like that. Hey man....you wouldn't be sore if you wasn't "livin" !! Looks like you're reclaiming lots of area though!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: ModernSurvival on September 06, 2009, 04:46:23 PM
Now that digging is digging that has to be done.  I honestly feel your pain been dealing with that damn &^$#()_& ^N ))*% ^$&()m  tree that fell in my front yard all day.  I have a huge pain in my left elbow from the lopers but now I have at least a cord of fire wood and a huge pile of mulch so it is worth it.  I am about to pour a few margaritas so that will help with the pain, it is all medicinal I swear,  ;)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Sister Wolf on September 06, 2009, 05:12:56 PM
I am about to pour a few margaritas so that will help with the pain, it is all medicinal I swear,  ;)

"Here, you lousy scoundrel, take your medicine.  TAKE IT!  Aaaand, one for the doctor!" - Hunter S. Thompson

I need somethin' to drink now.  ;)

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: ModernSurvival on September 06, 2009, 06:02:05 PM

I need somethin' to drink now.  ;)



What I am drinking right now

2 oz Cuervo 1800 respado
1 oz Cuervo White (white for bite)
1 oz Gran Marnier
1.5 oz roses lime juice
1/2 a lime squeezed

Shaken on ice and poured into a salt rimmed glass.

Thank you for sharing your recipe Mr. Buffett.  Try one sis what ever might have your goat won't matter after two, then have three and four and a nice nap,



Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Sister Wolf on September 06, 2009, 06:07:01 PM
Thank you for sharing your recipe Mr. Buffett.  Try one sis what ever might have your goat won't matter after two, then have three and four and a nice nap,

It's so amusing that we can take any subject, and turn it into drinking.  Survival?  Drink a beer!  Gardening?  Try a margarita!  Pissed off?  Drink both! At once!

I'm after that margarita right now, by the way.
;D
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on September 06, 2009, 06:33:27 PM
ROFL
Jack and Sis are drunk off their asses and cohutt is covered in dirt and sweat.
Around here we call that Sunday.
 ;D
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Sister Wolf on September 06, 2009, 06:53:24 PM
(http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-eatdrink007.gif)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 06, 2009, 07:39:12 PM
Once again the curse of curiousity had me check on this thread from the mobile.
I can only say I hope there aren't pictures when I get back and check on the PC.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 06, 2009, 08:53:17 PM
Now Mrs Cohutt is all concerned that our privacy is gone now that I took out the privet.   

I'll admit it looks a little stark now compared to before and I'm going to have to be more careful not to leave any tools or equipment out in view of the alley.  Most of the traffic down the alley is harmless- it is the zoning line between the historic district residential and the back of the commercial lots fronting a busy street a half a block away.  Still, I get enough foot traffice from the local indigent population (Salvation Army is a block away) that I have to be careful not to leave stuff out and to lock the back gate.

I think I'll improve the security of the fence as the welded wire one has been there for almost 20 years and has been beaten to hell and back since i put it in.  I'm thinking of sinking 4x4s and stringing some heavier gauge horse fencing or something up; the blueberries I am planning on putting in will provide some screen in a couple years and i don't want to block any more sun that I have to if I am going to plant that space.  (Hence no standard dog eared wood fence.....)  T

I wonder it it would be tacky to put a course or two of barbed wire above the new wire fencing?


Anyway it does open the backyard up to a lot more casual eyes:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden138.jpg)

1 of 3 or so loads I'll need to take care of is in the truck and ready to be taken to the city yard waste site for disposal:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden140.jpg)

Another real gardening update too:  Last week I found something had munched pretty hard on some of the young broccoli plants I put in a few days ago.  I applied a neem oil solution using a standard home depot ZEP spray bottle and haven't' had any new damage since then.    The first batch I planted (foreground) has been in the ground a week longer that the rest and it is beginning to grow noticeably.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden142.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on September 09, 2009, 08:42:48 PM
"Here, you lousy scoundrel, take your medicine.  TAKE IT!  Aaaand, one for the doctor!" - Hunter S. Thompson

I need somethin' to drink now.  ;)



Dr. Thompson knew what he was talking about.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on September 09, 2009, 08:45:48 PM
It's looking good Cohutt
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on September 09, 2009, 08:47:54 PM
Well, what did Mrs. Cohutt say about the fence?  You know we are all enjoying your saga.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 10, 2009, 03:33:20 AM
I did a little more work on it Tuesday evening but then realized the swollen left hand was serious enough to have to give it a rest for a few days.  When I was swinging the maddock Sunday I felt a sharp pain in my hand at/behind the joint on my "birdie" finger.  It subsided so I get working and just gripped the handle a little less tight. Monday it hurt a little but I favored it and got the work done.
Well Monday evening my left hand was swollen and very stiff; enough so that I had to ice it to knock the welling down some and stop the "heatbeat" type ache.   I think I strained a ligament or something.  Damnit damnit damnit.  Being a 20 year old in a 50 year old body is beginning to slow me down.

Whining aside..... Sarah wisely picked up the importance of having Mrs C on board for this yard to continue to evolve into a productive mini urban homestead.... so....

Mrs C and I surveyed the cleaned fence from the alley side yesterday evening and I explained my general plans.  Turns out she is more worried about the integrity of the fence vs the privacy, so we are on the same page after all. The same worn welded wire fence runs the rest of the alley border but it feels more secure because you can't tell where hedge stops and fence starts and vice versa as it is thoroughly engulfed in the privet hedge.

I'm planning one a combo wood and wire fence- deep sunk wooden posts with at least 7' out of the ground.  a couple feet of wood along the base with better quality wire fencing (horse fence or made the 16' 4 or 6 gauge livestock panels) above. I plan on a wire above the top of these for grapes and was even thinking of using some wicked 4 barb barbed wire I have at the BOL so that scaling the fence presents an issue. 

I have reserved some 3 gallon rabbiteye blueberry bushes for where some of the privet was; these are already a few feet tall (3+) and will provide some screening eventually to take the edge off. I plan on putting a longer narrow bed against the fence in one or more 8' sections for climbing like beans or squash next year as well. 

Also, Mrs C is now even on board with the idea of removing the lobsided limb dropping shade making beech tree above my compost area.  This will significantly open up the possibilities in my yard going forward.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on September 10, 2009, 06:29:26 AM
You are a blessed man, having a lady who backs you up.  Keep up the great saga and take care of that hand, its a valuable asset!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 12, 2009, 08:18:43 PM
PECANS:

It looks like it is going to be a good year for pecans in the backyard this year. The squirrels are tasting them daily and dropping the green nuts on top of "Lizzie's house", the old single room house that was built for "the help" at the same time my home was built 138 years ago.  They make a hell of a noise bouncing off the tin roof every few minutes, all day long while the tree rats work.



Here is a shot of the big old tree over Lizzie's- the limbs are sagging pretty much; this is a good sign for later in the fall.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden147.jpg)

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 12, 2009, 08:29:15 PM
I finished clearing the privet today and then pulled all the fence posts so I could move the fence in a couple of feet for a while while i build its replacement. 
The only thing worse than sinking t-posts is pulling them out. sheeze

A shot from back to front with the old welded wire fence laying in the alley:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden144.jpg)

And from front to back after moving it in a couple of feet.   

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden150.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 12, 2009, 08:42:55 PM
Not gardening or prepping but this worked so well I figured I'd share:  ;D

I didn't mention it but last weekend when I was digging I tore a tendon or ligament in my hand behind my birdie finger knuckle.   It swelled up considerably and it took all week to removes the swelling with ice and get mobility back.  The best thing I could have done would be to rest it for a couple weeks but there's no way I'd do that in the middle of this project.

So I came up with a fix to take the pressure off of it and keep me from gripping any maddock or shovel handles with it.  USPS flat rate boxes have a lot of uses for them after the deliver their goods- here is my USPS box splint/grip strap after a day of abuse:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden149.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden148.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on September 12, 2009, 08:56:20 PM
Very innovative.  How does it feel tonight? 
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 13, 2009, 05:32:30 AM
Very innovative.  How does it feel tonight? 

It has felt better but all in all i think the splint workedas the swelling didn't come back; I iced it hard on and off for a couple hours after I came in.

I am going to give it a rest today-
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 13, 2009, 05:43:17 PM
No garden / fence / yard work today, so this post is off topic.


I made it a range day, too few and far between lately. 

Thank you John Browning for the 1911  ;D


(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/range001.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on September 13, 2009, 06:12:27 PM
nice shooting cohutt.  I heard there is a nice outdoor range in the Cohutta WMA.  Ever been there? I think it only costs $5 for parking
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 13, 2009, 06:17:13 PM
Never seen it. If I'm shooting up in the Cohuttas it is on my own property
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 18, 2009, 06:33:29 PM
It has been mosquito heaven here for a few days.  stagnant, wet, mostly overcast with rain avery day or so and no sun to dry up the breeding pools.  The asian tigers that have normally been dominant aren't around as much; the small balck ones are all over now. These buggers are stealthy and persistent in great numbers.  Because of these, I have done very little during the evening and neglegted some of the tasks i needed done as i continue to transition to my fall garden.

Tonight i put on long sleeved, a boonie and a smelly mosquito head net and got some stuff done.  The skies cleared as little late this afternoon and I snapped a couple of pics of the broccoli siince it wasn't so gloomy.

It has really taken off-

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden151.jpg)


I've taken the covers off my shade structure and will lift the frame and store for next summer. The corn stalks are up and the roots chopped in well. 

More brocs below; I noticed something when loading the picture that I'll take care of tommorrow too.  The front left plant is actually twins.  oops.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden152.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 18, 2009, 06:54:45 PM
Crackberry picture of mosquito man from last week

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/IMG00164-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 26, 2009, 08:30:14 PM
I spent the last 3 hours putting measurements of my backyard into the start of a master plotting of my backyard.

Why bother?   I have so many ideas screaming through my head right now I felt the need to slow down and do some planning.  Otherwise I am certain I'd end up with a cluster-fyrk of well intentioned plantings that mature into an inefficient mess.

I have a copy of MS Office Visio 03 that I had never messed with until tonight. I've been measuring everything back there in the few op portunites I have had over the last couple of weeks (monsoon season here apparently).

The back of my house is the left border of this jpeg; a public alley runs along the bottom border. North is roughly toward the upper left corner, so the sun travels from the upper right corner towards the lower left, sort of....

I roughed in the patio, little house, the boxwood garden and of course the modest raised bed plot I've been posting about for the last 4 months.  I have left out the trees I am removing any day now.  The blue circle in the center is the town's original fire bell- a huge iron thing that has been upside down in this property's backyard used as a birdbath for the last 75 or 80 years.

The best sunlight I got in the middle of the summer is where the raised bed is centered.  The entire back half of the property (the right half of the picture) has been  canopied by mostly junk trees; they are along the back border and the back half of the alleyway border.

Note the two bushes at the bottom that appear to be in the middle of the alley. These are model raspberry and blueberry bushes I fixed the proportions on for cutting/pasting into the design once i decide how many and where.  I parked the templates down there and didn't think they'd show in the jpeg'd version of this plot but there they are.  

edited to add: the dimensions are roughly 160 ft x 70 ft

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Yard11.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on September 26, 2009, 09:10:08 PM
You are blessed with a great amount of space to work with.  I can see why you would want to plan it out for optimal usage.  We have .20 acre lot and I would love to have a few acres to work with.  BTW are you going to be able to keep any of the wood from the trees?
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 26, 2009, 09:58:24 PM
My lot is only .4 acre I believe>>

I could keep it but I have no use here- fireplaces aren't functional and I have wood up to my ears at the BOL and another 120 acres of it still on the stump.  Not worth the trouble to haul it up there. 
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on September 26, 2009, 10:03:28 PM
I guess I didn't realize you and Mrs C.  have a bol, but still almost a half acre lets you get a good amount of food grown.  Our house is our bug in location.  I can't convince my husband that some land up in east Texas would be smart.  Someday maybe.   BTW the garden looks great.  How will you put up the broccoli?  In the freezer?
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: jvodak on September 27, 2009, 05:26:45 AM
I just really love what you've done... very aesthetically pleasing AND productive. I really like the water capture system you made as well, looks pretty heavy duty.  I bought a 32 gallon trash can from Lowe's.  It isn't as nice as yours but I'm amazed at how much water it collects with just a misting in the air, darn thing has been full most of the time.  I give each of my square about 2 cups of water a day when it doesn't rain.  I use up about half a the trash can's contents so about 16 gallons or so to water the garden.  ALL FREE!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Fred_47460 on September 27, 2009, 06:00:02 AM
Kinda spooky how cutting down that row of brush opened up your yard to the alleyway though! Which direction is your alley from your yard? Could you put up some kind of privacy fence without blocking sunlight?? Perhaps a "privacy fence" made from terraced planting boxes?
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 27, 2009, 06:42:50 AM
Kinda spooky how cutting down that row of brush opened up your yard to the alleyway though! Which direction is your alley from your yard? Could you put up some kind of privacy fence without blocking sunlight?? Perhaps a "privacy fence" made from terraced planting boxes?

Fred,

Mrs thought it was a little creepy too bu later said she didn't mind if people could see in if there was a secure fence up.

The alley runs down the southwest side of the yard, which is the bottom border of the plot jpeg above.  The "gate" half way back is about where my compost set up is now.

I have some ideas on the fence; part of the reason the privet had to go was the space is ate up both from it's footprint and the shade factor.  After removing it, I find that it left a 7' wide strip down the side where nothing grew but privet and ivy.   Basically the hedge was creeping into the yard over the years and was 4' thick with enough overhang and height to shade out another 3'.   A 6' or 7' solid privacy fence would have a smaller footprint obviously but would still shade a good bit in the late afternoon. 

What I am thinking of is a combination of wood and heavier gauge wire.  I will use 4x4 treated posts for the whole run and frame each panel with wood.  There are livestock panels of extremely heavy gauge galvanized wire that run 16' long and 5' tall; the horse panels would be tight enough that they wouldn't provide a good foothold to scale over the fence from.  Regardless of what is below I plan to run wire along the top that can support grapes or other climbers; I figure barbed wire might send the right message or even plain fence wire on insulated posts.  I don't know if I could or would run a charge on it to make a true electric topped fence; maybe the illusion would suffice.

I plan on using productive plantings as a partial privacy screen in the sections where i have wire.  In the dead of winter I might stick a bamboo reed rolled fence section up on the wire - who knows.  This is part of the reason I decided i needed to really slow down and do some planning first.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 27, 2009, 06:56:24 AM
I just really love what you've done... very aesthetically pleasing AND productive. I really like the water capture system you made as well, looks pretty heavy duty.  I bought a 32 gallon trash can from Lowe's.  It isn't as nice as yours but I'm amazed at how much water it collects with just a misting in the air, darn thing has been full most of the time.  I give each of my square about 2 cups of water a day when it doesn't rain.  I use up about half a the trash can's contents so about 16 gallons or so to water the garden.  ALL FREE!

Thanks.  I hear you on the cool factor once you start actually using it.
I watered my garden for 16 days of 95 degree weather where there wasn't a cloud in the sky and only drained the system down by a little more than 1/3.   

You remind me I still have work to do on the overflow setup for this thing.  I've been putting it off.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 27, 2009, 07:20:17 AM
I guess I didn't realize you and Mrs C.  have a bol, but still almost a half acre lets you get a good amount of food grown.  Our house is our bug in location.  I can't convince my husband that some land up in east Texas would be smart.  Someday maybe.   BTW the garden looks great.  How will you put up the broccoli?  In the freezer?

BOL is acreage about 2 hours from here adjacent to the Cohutta Wilderness.  Lot's of things going for it including it is paid for, what is already planted there and a great security layout when access and neighbors are considered.  My avatar is the cabin on the property-
What it doesn't have going for it is we have partners- my bro in law (her brother) and his wife.  Nice folks but not looking to do the sorts of things I want to do; more interested in keeping the grass around the cabin mowed and putting cute things on the tables etc.  He decided the blueberry bushes were too tall for easy picking so the dumbass cut everyone of them back last winter, all 50 or 60, and we had ZERO harvest this year.   He never bothered to look up anything on them or ask anyone, just did it thinking he was doing something good.
See what I mean?   
They live in Atlanta and have a kid in private school and on that treadmill; they decided they wanted to sell it so "we" could buy a lake house that wpuld have less upkeep (hahahaha still laughing on that) and I told them sure we could sell it, but I would be rolling my portion into something else that is 100% paid for and owned by me.  I think they have gotten more realistic on the valuation so who knows, maybe soon I get to start over on a new BOL with a prepper's perspective from day 1.

In the meantime it is a hell of a place to hang out and work on when I have the time.

My neighborhood here is the original downtown one from when the city was founded in the mid 1800s; it is national historical district so we have rules on exterior mods and other stuff but it is a good think imho; not like HOS issues arbitrarily applied in other nightmare scenarios I have heard of.   
The original lots are pretty small here- ours is one of the exceptions in that it is deep and flat. Unfortunately due to the tight quarters there are a lot of very old hardwoods in neighbor's yards that love the space over my yard; even after dropping all the southern and western exposure trees I will still have some areas that won't be fully productive, mainly in the early part of the day.   This isn't entirely a bad thing but something to work around.

Broc goes into the freezer - plan is to freeze most of the heads and eat the side shoots til freeze do us part.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 29, 2009, 04:40:54 AM
No turning back now.   My world will have sun soon.


Thanks Jack, thanks Dervaes family.   

Apprehension <<ON>>

 ;)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden157.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on September 30, 2009, 07:04:54 AM
BOL is acreage about 2 hours from here adjacent to the Cohutta Wilderness.  Lot's of things going for it including it is paid for, what is already planted there and a great security layout when access and neighbors are considered.  My avatar is the cabin on the property-
What it doesn't have going for it is we have partners- my bro in law (her brother) and his wife.  Nice folks but not looking to do the sorts of things I want to do; more interested in keeping the grass around the cabin mowed and putting cute things on the tables etc.  He decided the blueberry bushes were too tall for easy picking so the dumbass cut everyone of them back last winter, all 50 or 60, and we had ZERO harvest this year.   He never bothered to look up anything on them or ask anyone, just did it thinking he was doing something good.
See what I mean?

Son of a bitch! You kick his ass Cohutt?

By the way, thanks for the idea on the broccoli. I planted some early dividends a week or two ago after seeing yours
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: pchambers on September 30, 2009, 07:16:55 AM
BOL is acreage about 2 hours from here adjacent to the Cohutta Wilderness.  Lot's of things going for it including it is paid for, what is already planted there and a great security layout when access and neighbors are considered.  My avatar is the cabin on the property-

Oh love the Cohutta area!  We have an old favorite camping spot up there called, for the lack of any other name, the Big Damn Field.  Looking into buying land in the next year or two.  Lots of "mountain" land for sale, but I've been shying away from that sort because I think that a large producing garden will be elusive on the hilly sides.  How's your BOL in relation to elevation/terrain.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 30, 2009, 06:41:06 PM
133 total, 14 or so open, the rest mixed hardwoods and from rolling to straight up/down. (On the east side in Fannin Co)
The bottom land is the open land and is scraggly pasture right now but could be productive again.  The original water diversion trenches are still intact way up the grade form the edge of the open land.  Originally most of the Cohuttas was clear cut into the 1930s; the mountain folks had to dig the trenches to keep the water running off the mountain from wiping out the crops.

The cabin is in a corner in the open land with a "crik" flowing through & the property goes over the mountain the cabin faces. 

From the cabin:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Millsap%20misc/Millsap006.jpg)

to the cabin:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Millsap%20misc/Millsap041.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on September 30, 2009, 06:56:55 PM
pchambers,
I forgot to post- the campsite area you are talking about is probably  "Bray Field" on the Conasauga River & trail where Tearbritches hits the river bottom

Roswell,

I've been fighting leaf eating critters on my brocs- i had it under control with a Neem oil spray but the constant rain lately washed it off as fast as I could put it on.   The break in the weather this week seems to have helped
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 01, 2009, 08:08:20 PM
Have you ever made a series of decisions moving towards something then one morning you wake up to realize that you had passed the point of no return?

 ???

When I made the decision to get serious about my backyard I had a definite picture in my mind of what it will be when done.  It will take some time to get it there and I'm OK with that, thankfully Mrs C says she is too. 

But when in a few days you go from this (the background):

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden091.jpg)

to this:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden176.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden162.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden163.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden164.jpg)


Well, it kind of puts it all out there, you know, the cat's out of the bag and all that...... 
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on October 01, 2009, 08:24:29 PM
yeah, you need to get that fence up soon, but I am sure when you are done it is going to look really nice
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 01, 2009, 08:25:38 PM
Well obviously I can't sit still, I had to get busy and finish prepping the alley side border so I can sink some fence posts this weekend.  

A Master Gardener friend came by a few days ago when I was manually digging up the privet stumps & roots and told me to stop and wait until she got back to me. She wouldn't say why but told me to trust her, that she had something for me if I was insistent on doing all this myself.

Fast forward to today when she brought me a tool I didn't even know existed, and it is now in my possesion, on loan from the local Master Gardeners association.

It is a "Weed Wrench" (http://www.weedwrench.com/ (http://www.weedwrench.com/)), the big model, and it works pretty damn well.  I got out there at 7 and by 8 I had a nice pile of privet stumps pulled, some of the ones I had been dreading.

I highly recommend this tool, probably best borrowed or rented unless you have a lot of this type of vermin plant to pull.  It costs $180.

After a short but intense session of privet pulling, I had a nice pile and no pulled muscles in my back.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden181.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden177.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden178.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 01, 2009, 08:35:40 PM
Yeah Roswell- I'm feeling pretty nekkid out back right now.   I did patch back the 6' welded wire fence along the border and it is in good shape (mostly) along the part next to my garden (and close to my house).  It is enough to keep casual opportunists from just walking it to check things out but won't keep anyone serious out.


Subject change:

I turned a bin of what is some of the best compost I've managed to brew so far.  Damn this stuff looks and smells so frikkin good!   

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden168.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden169.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on October 04, 2009, 05:39:25 PM
Wow!
cohutt, dude, I have been busy and haven't been able to follow the threads that I normally watch.
Your pics are great!
That new soil is awesome!
Great pile of new compost you have there!
My wife was watching over my shoulder as I was checking your thread and she asked, "Do you have compost envy?"
I was like, "Yea! What do you think? Look at that! I have to beg the neighbors for leaves and this guy has That pile of compost!"
Good Job cohutt!
Thanks for the updates!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on October 04, 2009, 06:54:59 PM
Hey Cohutt,  do you know the difference between naked and necked?   Naked is being without clothing, but necked is being without clothing and up to no good!  My bible class teacher told us that believe it or not.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 04, 2009, 07:31:40 PM
HoC,
Thanks, anyone can do the compost thang given access to "stuff".   The chips piled in the back (the ones that were junk trees a week ago) are steaming hot right now- bizarre since they've only there a few days.  Hot to the touch an inch below the surface, steaming.

sarahl, Lewis Grizzard was first I heard to say that. 


I spent the weekend pulling the rest of the privet, cleaning the fence line, laying out the mason line, diggin post holes and setting posts.  A friend loaned me a 1 man auger but it has a bad carb on it or something.   The heavy bar and post hole diggers got 2/3 of them done.  The other 7 on this run will have to wait a few days.

I enjoyed the long weekend of work BUT at 49 I feel like I've been trampled by a herd of caribou. 
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 05, 2009, 07:38:09 PM
By the time I got home from work I was determined to get those two last posts in- I can't start tacking up the stringers until these are set and cured for a couple days, so I got out in the mud.  (On what was the last "dig" shaping the hole for the 2nd post I broke my frikkin post hole diggers. DOH!)

Now Mrs Cohutt can tell a fence is going in and is seeing things a little more optimistically. (the posts in the top pic are actually dead on straight but the pic makes the look bent).

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden182.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden183.jpg)


Also, I kicked the top couple of inches of one of the wood chip piles to see if it was still cooking.  Check it out, you can see the steam rising;  the grey stuff is very warm to the touch as this breaks down.  Odd, this is so soon after the shredder spit it all out last week, I guess the high nitrogen/oxygen combination lit it off. hmmmm

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden184.jpg)



(I realize this thread has turned into an overkill snoozer but a while back I figured I'd see the first year through in detail so I'd have a journal to go back and review.  I've tried some new things and learned through trial and error here, hopefully some of you might do the same.  ;) )
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: soccer grannie on October 05, 2009, 08:03:55 PM
(I realize this thread has turned into an overkill snoozer but a while back I figured I'd see the first year through in detail so I'd have a journal to go back and review. I've tried some new things and learned through trial and error here, hopefully some of you might do the same. ;) )

Cohutt: Your thread is far from an "overkill snoozer". In fact, watching the progress of your garden has really inspired me. I'm taking photos of our 1 acre of nothing but grass. Can't wait to compare my photos next Spring when the dirt is actually producing something.

I'm looking forward to Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on October 05, 2009, 08:12:32 PM
Cohutt: Your thread is far from an "overkill snoozer". In fact, watching the progress of your garden has really inspired me. I'm taking photos of our 1 acre of nothing but grass. Can't wait to compare my photos next Spring when the dirt is actually producing something.

I'm looking forward to Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2.

I agree 100%!
I love this thread.
Its usually the first one I look for when I log on.
I've gotten very lazy with my garden in the last 2 years and this thread has been an inspiration for me to restore my garden to what it was and what it can be.
By spring, I hope to have something worth posting because I have been revived by Cohutt.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: TexDaddy on October 05, 2009, 09:26:32 PM
Keep it up, cohutt. You are an inspiration.

Surely, we are on chapter 4 by now. :)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 06, 2009, 05:07:26 AM
Geez in hindsight that read as kind of whiny didn't it?  Sorry.


I figure Chapter 1 is through the end of 2009, my late-started-rush-to-get-something-going year.  Chapter 2 will be the more orderly and planned out 2010.

Win lose or draw I'll keep all the progress and regress posted here.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on October 06, 2009, 06:41:13 AM
Uhh, Cohutt, you definitely don't come over as whiney.  You sound like a guy who really works hard to make sure his family is provided for.  It's to be admired!  We all enjoy your story.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on October 06, 2009, 07:27:17 AM
(I realize this thread has turned into an overkill snoozer but a while back I figured I'd see the first year through in detail so I'd have a journal to go back and review.  I've tried some new things and learned through trial and error here, hopefully some of you might do the same.  ;) )

Cohutt,

I assure you haven’t been boring me, especially since you are so close geographically. I enjoy your story as I know others do as well. You really have inspired a lot of people on the forum. I know I have learned a lot watching you. I am growing Early Dividend Broccoli because I saw you do it. I hadn’t even heard of that strain before. It may also interest you to know Ebonearth nominated this thread for Heavy G’s “Best Of” . So, don’t worry about boring us my friend. Just worry about making some people angry should you choose to stop updating.  :D
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 06, 2009, 08:22:03 PM
Thanks for the kind comments guys. 

No work tonight- gave my beaten hands a rest. 

I did go get a new set of handles from homey depot for the post hole diggers.   The only problem is the nub and existing handle are stuck on pretty badly; the bolts are rusted and spin in the old soft wood.   Aggravating.

I decided that I'd have to split the old handles off and then I can grab the bolts a torque the rusted nuts off.  Problem is the wood is old, soft and damp and just absorbs a chisel. 

So right now the thing is sitting over a 300 watt halogen shop light so the wood will dry out some.  Tommorrow I'll get two chisels and double them up to spilt off the old handle nubs.  In the meantime Kroil is working on the bolts/nuts too.

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 11, 2009, 06:58:06 PM
Several updates.

Fence:

Progress; a good bit of the frame is up - gotta decide how to finish it.  I want light and air flow but want security and privacy too. 

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden201.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden203.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden204.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden205.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 11, 2009, 07:09:43 PM
Broccoli:

One patch looks OK, came through without major damage except for a couple plants:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden195.jpg)

Two patches are recovering from a cabbage worm infestation.  I didn't act fast enough and they were almost done in.     DOH!

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden196.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden197.jpg)




Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 11, 2009, 07:27:15 PM
Carrots coming along; second attempt at seeding (front squares) beginning to sprout

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden192.jpg)


Garlic is waking up. (thanks Spartan!)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden193.jpg)

Lettuce

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden194.jpg)

More lettuce and some spinach in one of the tomato beds.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden200.jpg)

6 rabbiteye blueberry bushes ready to go in...  3 different varieties.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden198.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on October 11, 2009, 07:30:19 PM
Looking good!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: spartan on October 14, 2009, 08:03:23 PM
Glad to see that the garlic is doing well for you. My only recommendation for it is once it's up 6" or so, give it a nice thick dressing of clean straw mulch.  Really helps keep it productive.

And I still have some whole garlic bulbs left to offer for anyone who wants to plant it.  PM me if you want any, I like to share the garlic love.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 15, 2009, 05:46:28 PM
Jeez it is a wet fall here this year.  Not much work getting done on the fence and the blueberries are still in their nursery containers.    Yesterday evening I did manage to string out the last 40 feet of the fence and start to post holes.  In the dark.  And in the rain.


Spartan,

More info on straw?  Just to tuck it in and protect from hard freeze over the winter? 

And if you don't have any takers, I'll send you some of those 300g cast hollowpoints for some more garlic.  ;)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: spartan on October 15, 2009, 07:49:21 PM
The straw helps protect it from a hard freeze, snow, heavy downpours, and sharp temperature swings.  Once fluffed from the bale and set in place, the straw doesn't compact down like other mulch options, and allows plenty of water and air flow to the soil.  Even with the rich soil mix I planted it in, there was never a touch of weeds and it popped up and grew well come spring, though we did have a mild winter.  This year isn't going to treat us so well.  The nor'easter is really tearing things up with some long steady rain.

And I've still got your address, so you will see more garlic in a few days.  ;D
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on October 17, 2009, 09:11:26 AM
Guys, how have you done with your garlic over all?  I have had no success with my garlic whatsoever!  I got a couple of shoots to come up, but then they just wilted away and died...I did use garlic from the store though, that went to shoots...

Noreaster is killing us up here in NJ as well...45 and rain since Wednesday night, till Sunday...
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 17, 2009, 09:14:59 PM
sherker,   

This is my first time so we won't know how it goes til next year.    However, I have read that using garlic from the grocery store doesn't usually work out well, something about the garlic being older and drier maybe. 
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on October 18, 2009, 09:25:16 AM
I figured as much...I am going to do onions and garlic big time in the spring...do I need to get them in the ground now though, like bulb flowers?
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 18, 2009, 10:50:04 AM
sherker,

I'm pretty much learning as I go but it seems you need to get it in the ground in the fall several weeks before the ground freezes.

I have never ordered from these guys; but they popped up when i googled "growing garlic" and this seems to be a pretty good overview:

http://thegarlicstore.com/ZenCart/index.php?main_page=page&id=5&chapter=0&zenid=1rqo2r1p6t8ml4c7tq598gpm72 (http://thegarlicstore.com/ZenCart/index.php?main_page=page&id=5&chapter=0&zenid=1rqo2r1p6t8ml4c7tq598gpm72)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on October 18, 2009, 02:27:38 PM
looks like a good source, thanks!   I emailed them already...
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 21, 2009, 12:00:46 PM
We had some sunshine this past weekend and I managed to finish setting the posts and putting up the rest of the stringers for the fence from hell.  (All but 1 stringer actually, gotta pick up some more treated 2x4s.)

I also dug up a modestly large hackberry stump that would have been dissected by the fence line.  It was 7-8" or so in diameter, no problem, right?     WRONG.  It became a battle of wills and I eventually won after 45 minutes with a mattock and a heavy bar.  Won't be doing that again for sure, would rather resharpen my chainsaw a few times and cut it down below grade next time.

The bad news: this is much larger a job than I envisioned even though I had measured everything before i started.
The good news: my yard is much larger than I envisioned even though I had measured everything before I started.

From the alley at the back corner:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden209.jpg)

From the inside, atop one of the 3 ft high mulch/chip piles in the back
(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden207.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on October 21, 2009, 12:03:58 PM
Cohutt, the fence is looking great.  By the way, what are all the shrubs? 
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: TexDaddy on October 21, 2009, 08:48:56 PM
Cohutt, the fence is looking great.  By the way, what are all the shrubs? 
Now, don't get him started on that. He hasn't even finished the fence yet and now he will want to dig those up and replace them with something edible. Unless, of course, they are edible. They seem to be  shaped for looks though.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 21, 2009, 09:00:02 PM
The shrubs are the remnants of an ancient boxwood garden that has been around since the 1920s.  Originally it was all English boxwood, which is a more compact and rounded bush when compared to the common or American boxwood.  Some time back in the 50 or 60s they lost some of the English and replanted with common.  

The beech tree I took out had started dropping large limbs on the garden and crushed several of the English over that last 4 years.  
I intend to clean it up by moving out the common and spreading the remaining English back around in a formal pattern similar to the original layout. There will be plenty of room for beds for herbs and/or other compact plantings. I cut them all back to nubs 18 years ago and sprigged a bunch of English from clippings; these are all about 2 ft tall now.
In the center there is a very large iron bell upside down as a birdbath center piece.  It is about 40 inches across and almost 4 ft tall; it is on record as being my town's original fire bell that was rung to summon the volunteer firedepartment.

Yeah I know boxwood doesn't produce but this is a part of the "home" with some history I want to keep intact.

There you go, more than you wanted to know. :)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 21, 2009, 09:07:21 PM
TexDaddy the thought crossed my mind from it would be the end of me if I did- I live in a historic district in a house with a lot of unique history and the boxwoods are a part of it all.

This is a shot from another angle post demolition/pre-fence that gives you another angle on the size of the old boxwood garden.  The common ones are mostly on the left side although there are some large English ones there too; the beech tree shaded and competed with the English on the right and they are much smaller as a whole...

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden162.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on October 21, 2009, 09:12:18 PM
I thought they were boxwoods and I wondered if it had been a meditation garden or a mini maze.  I would surely keep it.  We have to have beauty and history in our lives, especially since you have more yard to plant your gardens in.  The back of the house has so much character and it's nice to get a little history.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: TexDaddy on October 21, 2009, 09:12:59 PM
Cohutt, I think the boxwoods are beautiful, and I am all for preserving history. Its just, you know how we preppers get carried away sometimes. ;)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on October 21, 2009, 09:55:46 PM
Hey Cohutt
FWIW, I would keep the boxwoods.
Birds love them for year around shelter and for overwinter protection.
And you need birds for a good garden.
Plus the history thing adds value to your land.
I have a large hedge that keeps about 200 birds through the harsh Ohio winters and am planning on planting more in the spring.
So the hedges don't feed me, they help the birds that help feed me.
 :)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 22, 2009, 04:34:29 AM
I've been messing around with the visio plot of my yard some- you can see what the original layout of the boxwoods were and the space they occupy overall isn't prohibitive now that sun hits the rest of the yard.   I also placed the blueberries where I think they will go and added the garden kiosk/tool shed that will double as a fence cross brace.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Yard13.gif)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 25, 2009, 08:39:16 PM
No working on the project Saturday as I was on the road all day and had to make up for it today. 

NOTE:  I decided to go into a little more detail than I normally would with what follows.  The reason:  after a coworker saw the project Friday evening it became obvious to me that this isn’t intuitive work for everyone and maybe some folks might benefit from the long boring version of what would normally be a 1 paragraph 2 picture post.

I needed to turn 75 12’ 1x6s into 150 6’ 1x6s and wanted to make it as efficient as possible from both a time and effort standpoint, so I made a butt ugly mega jig out of scrap wood and set it up so that it fed easily into the bed of my truck.   I figure the 20 minutes of making this thing saved 2 or 3 hours of measuring, marking and aligning the boards for each cut.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden211.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden213.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden210.jpg)

A real beauty, isn’t it? 

Next I rolled my truck the 140 feet down the alley and spread the boards out in preparation for getting them up before dark.   

Ready to go:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden215.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden214.jpg)

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 25, 2009, 08:45:04 PM
I went to the trouble to nail all the top risers at the same level perfectly horizontal; I did this so that I could then use them as the reference to set the boards evenly and on a level course.

Jig time again-

First “jig” was an 8’ 2x6 that would sit on top of the top riser and provide the marker for the top of the board.   I used a sheetrock square with this to align the top of the boards with the edge of the 2x6.
Second jigs were the two spacer boards for proper spacing (duh) and to insure I was keeping all the boards on a perfect vertical alignment.
Finally I kept a level handy and spot checked each board once nailed to the top riser before tacking it in to the middle riser.

Here is the “system”, the 2x6 on top of the riser, the framing square and the two spacers. The spacers are short sections of 1x2s with long decking screws positioned to allow them to hang on the risers without shaking off when the next board was being aligned.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden218.jpg)

I used a finish nail gun to tack up the boards before coming back with ribbed decking nails.  This way I could knock out the tedious “precision” stuff quickly then make the permanent attachment “hands free”, with the boards already tacked up.

Progress, front and back:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden216.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden217.jpg)

And finally the main run of the “short” 6’ portion of the fence, which was finished under the trusty 300 watt halogen shop light:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden220.jpg)

I still have a lot of the permanent fastening to do on this run but it is basically “up” as planned.   (I'll cut off the tops of the fence posts that extend above the top of the boards).

This week I will have the 8' boards delivered for the "tall" part of the fence and hopefully make some headway there as well.

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on October 25, 2009, 09:56:35 PM
Looking good.  Also looks like hard work.  The fences that were replaced here after Ike were for the most part thrown together, by fence companies no less, and compared to yours they look like a child put them together.  There are some good fencing companies but you really pay alot to use them.  The spaces in your boards seem to let a good amount of light and air through.  That was reallly smart.  How much time do you estimate it will take to complete this job?
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 26, 2009, 04:31:25 AM
How much time do you estimate it will take to complete this job?

LOL, that's the $64 question......

The truth is it will never ever really be finished - the fence might be done soon but this big new "urban homestead" lifestyle project has just begun.


Maybe by the end of this coming weekend I can have all the boards up and securely fastened Including the 8' ones).  After that I have some more clearing to do along the back border- removing the ivy, privet, junk stumps and old fencing.  Once that is done I do the whole sting, post holes, posts, stringers, etc again.  I also have to cross brace the long alley run in at least one place, two or three would be better.  Ideally each bracing would serve a dual purpose, ie be part of another functional structure like a modular compost bin, a veggie trellis or a tool shed.

The post that the light is on in the night picture above is potentially part of the bracing- I dug a hole and dropped it in (no dirt of concrete) to get a view on possibly putting a tool shed (6'x6' at most) there, attached to the fence and incorporating the cross bracing into it.  That location would also block the visual from the house where the short and tall parts of the fencing meet.  You can see the "shed" in the drawing a few posts up.  what I have in mind (and pre-approved by Mrs C) is a rustic/funky potting shed type design. I have scavenged some "pre-conditioned" galvanized roofing (ie rusty) for it as a brand new shiny roof would look out of place with all the other old worn stuff on my property.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on October 26, 2009, 07:09:54 AM
Do you really like doing projects? 
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 26, 2009, 11:44:15 AM
Do you really like doing projects? 

lol

I believe that ultimately, nobody in this country does anything that they really don't want to do.

My long lunch break thoughts regarding "projects".

Yeah I like projects. When people ask me "geez, when to ever have time to _______(fill in pleasurable hobby or way to pass time here)" they don't get that this is what I do by choice. Unless I have something to work on outside of work I go crazy.  When they say "i don't have time to do that" I ask them how much TV they watch per day/week.  Inevitably the answer is something like "not much, only a couple shows a night".  As I push them some it is obvious that they watch at least 20 hours of TV per week.   That's their choice, their hobby.  My choice is to push my mind/body during those hours so that neither turn to jello as I pass 50.

It is funny, my brain operates in a visual, Asperger's type of mode.  My wife's is the opposite.  Once Jack confirmed what i knew I really wanted in life last spring, a vision of this project developed within a few days.   She has shown concern and a little anxiety over the yard once the trees, privet and fence were gone.  I've sketched for her, walked her around the yard talking about things and shown pictures that bear some semblance to what I see.  Still her expression says she doesn't see it... 

Last night when she came out and saw the fence actually looking like a fence she got really really excited- like she'd been away for weeks and came back to discover it.   I mean she was downright gleeful about how it is starting to turn out, like the switch was just thrown.  I was kind of just, duh, what's the big deal.....

How has this marriage survived 25 years? lol......

Back to work now...
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on October 26, 2009, 03:00:37 PM
We are pretty much the same...but opposite, seeing as my husband is like your wife and I like the projects.  He has done the same thing about not seeing the big picture of my schemes so many times and then is amazed when he sees the reality.  I guess opposites really do attract.  I do have to say that I have to work on not letting it bother me that he doesn't enjoy what I consider the man's jobs around the house.  His dad is someone who goes non-stop and it bothers him too.    I'm glad Mrs. C is on board now.  Keep on showing us what you're doing as we all enjoy the stories and pictures.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on October 26, 2009, 07:07:48 PM
looking good man, I was going to suggest a shadowbox style, I think that's what its called...both good for ventilation and privacy
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on October 26, 2009, 08:07:42 PM
Note to self:

Driving nails in the dark, even with a new Estwing forged hammer, tends to suck after a while.

(I need cross lighting for this and only have one portable halogen shop light right now.)




Sherker,

I think the shadow box design has a top cap rail that overhangs the pickets by a little bit to give it a "3-D look".  I am still considering this for the tall front section since it will be visually separated (by the toolshed/crossbrace) from the shorter back section I tacked up this weekend.  This is why I toe-nailed the stringers in the tall section to be flush with the posts.  Royal PIA.....
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 01, 2009, 06:55:01 PM
This was to be a big weekend - where hopefully I would finish the side run of the fence and get back to actual garden improvement. 

Unfortunately the front that blew through the southeast brought fairly constant rain all day Saturday into the evening.  Having both days free to get work done in a weekend has been rare lately so I figured I'd have to find a way to get something done Saturday-

The solution: good ol white trash tarp covers strung up in my backyard.  I set up the miter on walkboard under the tarp, measured each section of the "tall" part of the fence and then cut 100+ boards to fit.  After I cut them I laid them out in front of each section.  (Fresh pressure treated lumber is heavy; especially so if it has a couple inches of rain dumped on it while your working on it). Sunday I hung them up and rewarded myself with a trip to the range for the first time in a few weeks.

The cutting tent, extending from the porch of Lizzie's:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden221.jpg)

Looking back into the area (college football streamed to the work area though my laptop complements of CBS sports and ESPN360).

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden225.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 01, 2009, 07:04:20 PM
Today (Sunday) was a perfect day for catching up- 60 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

FENCE!

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden229.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden227.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden228.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden231.jpg)

(the last tall section isn't tacked in in a couple of the pictures; it is also the back of the tool shed I'm building into the fence- more on this later in the week maybe).
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 01, 2009, 07:18:23 PM
This is kind of trivial but it worked so damn well I figure I'd share:
It was so soft/muddy next to the fence from all the rain, a normal step ladder would sink in and tip; I used scrap to make a "floater" stool that wouldn't sink and was solid enough to stand on.  The flat feet worked like a charm- very steady and no "quicksand effect".  The 2x6s are cut @15 degrees.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden226.jpg)


When I'm done with the fence I'll use it as a seat when bullet casting.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on November 01, 2009, 08:04:01 PM
 After you're through using the bench for the fence you should get you some foam and some fake leather vinyl, then with a staple gun cover the seat so you can work in comfort.  Everything is looking great. 
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: TexDaddy on November 01, 2009, 08:45:41 PM
You are a dynamo, Cohutt. Great job on the fence, the tarp and the floater.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 04, 2009, 08:11:17 PM
"The Fall Garden"

Over the last couple of evenings I cleaned up the yard a bit from the soggy weekend contruction project, moved my temporary wire fence again and blew the pecan leaves off the patio and lawn.

This afternoon, I came home for a late lunch and to let Mrs C's newly adopted stray out for a break.  When I stepped into the backyard the sun was shining and it was a nice 65 degrees, the butterflies and bumblebees were all over the marigolds and i felt the headache that had been stalking me evaporate.

Since I haven't been posting much lately about how the actual plants are doing in the fall garden, I grabbed the camera and took a few shots that really don't do it justice.....

First, I'm really liking the way the fence looked as a background, especially when compared to the rotten invasive privet that had resided there for the last 50 years.

You can see some of the back-from-the-dead broccoli recovering after the cabbage worm massacre.  The marigolds are in full bloom now and the 3 types of basil are still healthy (the tall stuff that is not staked).  Some young spinach is in the left side of the broc bed

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden233.jpg)


From the other side -  the front bed here has the variety planted in it for sure-
a white heirloom tomato racing to beat  the looming freeze next week for it's first "ripe" tomato
Some scraggly peanuts being crowded by more the marigolds
some member donated garlic
a variety planting of lettuce from SSE.
a tiny single broccoli plant pulled from a double sprouted tray that just might make it...
(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden234.jpg)


Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 04, 2009, 08:13:26 PM
the fence side bed:
Left to right-
More spinach
More lettuce
more goober peas

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden235.jpg)

This picture is of the mo' better Broccoli in the small middle bed in the background of the above pic.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden236.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 04, 2009, 08:21:26 PM
Carrot tops and basil

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden237.jpg)

and another grid of lettuce next to the carrots.  Mrs C's 7 lb newly adopted homestead patrol dog is in the background ready to pounce on any squirrel that dares to approach the perimeter.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden238.jpg)

God what a beautiful day today. I hated to have to return to the office.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on November 05, 2009, 06:36:04 AM
Cohutt,

That is one beautiful garden! I can see why you found it hard to go to work. Are the marigolds just for bringing in the bees and being pretty or do you have another use?

Have you had any problems with your brocolli? I planted mine right before the flood in Atlanta, a little over a month ago. I got “early dividends” from an herloom seller. I think it was victoryseeds.com. Maybe it is because of the flood, in fact I am sure it is, but my sprouts are still only sprouts, only 2 or 3 inches tall. Do you have any ideas? Should I replant? 
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on November 05, 2009, 06:39:11 AM
I was going to ask about the broccoli too.  With so much rain in houston mine has huge yellow spots and black dots on it.   Cohutt you are one magic gardener!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 05, 2009, 07:57:50 PM
Actually I'm a little disappointed in the broccoli- I know someone who planted about a week before I did from the same lot of plants who has been harvesting for a couple weeks now.
Several things were working against it

I put the garden in in June and underestimated the amount of shade that would hit the garden as the season changed.  The guilt beech tree is now a pile of chips in the back of the yard.

Second, I missed the early signs of cabbage worms and one day it seemed all the leaves on the plants were devoured.

By the time I got rid of the buggers, the days were getting really short and another tree started shading the garden @ about 2:45.  (This tree is a giant hackberry on the commercial lot across the alley from my garden- it is consumed with english Ivy and is ready to fall.  Fortunately I talked to the owner Saturday and he indicated he was taking it and another one down shortly.)

As much as I would like to grow everything semi organically right away I decided some 10-10-10 was necessary to get the leaves regenerated; the modest amount I applied made a big difference and now that the leaves have grown back the heads are forming pretty well in most plants.  I may get some brocs yet.
Live and learn.

Roswell,
I think to grow fall broccoli from seed around here you need to start the seeds in late july.  I bought plants and got them in a tad later than I wanted - the long sunny days of late august and early september seem to be the ticket to getting the leaves out all big and healthy on the plants before the heads form as things cool off.  Too late to start over i think
The marigolds were for variety and supposedly help keep certain pests away.  I put the seeds in directly way back in July and have just now gotten a jillion blossoms.   Mrs C is a big fan of the color and I'll put some other flowers in next year as well.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Cheeta68 on November 05, 2009, 09:31:56 PM
All i can say is WOW. I have been following your progress for a couple of months and you have made an amazing transformation. I have embarked on several of the projects like you have this year after I woke up from my state of denial. You are so right in pointing out that others do not realize that it is a choice we make about how we spend our time. It's hard to watch my friends waist their lives away. I hope I can inspire them as much as you have inspired us with your journey.

Way Cool.
Keith
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 09, 2009, 11:24:57 AM
Thanks cheetah/Keith.  having a thread going has been good motivator for me to tray and bring some improvement every week and I am certain I would have made much less progress if i wasn't posting...

I spent the weekend working on the fence / toolshed /back border.  I'll show it all when completed but that's still a few days/weeks away.

garden update pic 1:
The squares of lettuce are big enough to start having regular clippings removed. yum.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden239.jpg)

Garden update pic 2:
And we a getting close to real broccoli heads now....still small, about 3 fingers worth of fist.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden240.jpg)


Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: ebonearth on November 10, 2009, 09:53:01 AM
Bravo Cohutt! Bravo!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 14, 2009, 07:07:12 PM
Well I'll be damned...... 

I pulled up the peanut plants today and there were actually peanuts under them.  Shazam!

I put them in just for the hell of it and really didn't think they were producing any.  I'm not planning on doing it again next year but it was kind of cool to find goober peas had grown. :)


(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden242.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden241.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Fred_47460 on November 15, 2009, 05:18:56 PM
Frigging AWESOME Cohutt !! You are an inspiration for those of us still preparing to prepare!! Your posts are part of the reason I'm working a crap-box full of overtime....in about 25 weeks I'll have enough cash saved up to buy 5 to 10 acres !! I am SOL for doing any gardening where I'm at right now.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 15, 2009, 06:08:49 PM
Thanks for the kind words Fred, I'll keep posting progress as it occurs (and setbacks as well.
________________________________________________________________________________________

I spent the entire day out there working today- sunny and low 70s, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

Yesterday I found the other back corner survey pin; it was chore since a neighbor dumped some dirt against the wire fence that managed to cover it up with maybe a foot of soil.  Add multiple years of leaves and English ivy growth on top of that and you get the picture.  I dug the hole for the post then set it this morning.  

I continued working on clearing the back property line (and found more yellow jackets), fixed my chain saw and cut off several small stumps closer to the ground.
The other side wall of the toolshed is up and I put the roof on it as well.  I tried to find some surplus metal that looked "vintage" for Mrs Cohutt wasn't successful.  I ended up buying 3 pieces of new galvanized roofing, cut them in half then washed them in vinegar a couple times to take the sheen off.  When I was done I remembered why I hate putting up this type of roof.

I'll get some pictures of the shed up later this week- it doubles as the cross bracing in the middle of the long run of fence and is 4x8; it is where yard tools, mower etc will reside once complete.

We ate the first head of garden broccoli tonight & it was delicious. Like everything else fresh from the garden there is a huge difference even from the in season fresh Kroger produce.  The lettuce has gone ape with the cool nights and sunny days
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 17, 2009, 04:34:43 PM
The long 120' fence run and shed/brace

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden243.jpg)

Closer of the shed- I'll finish the front and doors with the same fence board i used on the sides.  The front framing is just wedged in right now so it is wompy-jawed.   Wire fence is temporary dog retainer I set up using the salvaged welded wire that was in the privet hedge.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden244.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on November 19, 2009, 05:30:49 PM
Good lookin' fence!
You're an inspiration to us all.
I love this post thread! I meant this thread, not my post.


(edited because I evidently don't know the difference between a thread and a post.)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on November 19, 2009, 06:46:31 PM
Cohutt, that is awesome! I even showed my wife all the changes you have made. It really is amazing. Can you try to take a picture mirrorring the first picture you took in this thread. (my wife requested it)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 19, 2009, 08:09:03 PM
Roswell

 I tried from memory but I missed it a little, plus I got some glare shooting through the glass.

But until I get the right shot, here you go:

Before:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/garden002.jpg)

After (so far):

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden247.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Roswell on November 19, 2009, 08:27:08 PM
Thanks Cohutt, that is a great picture. Your backyard is freaking huge now. My wife and I love it.  :)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: TexDaddy on November 19, 2009, 10:04:48 PM
Cohutt, you have done some wonderful things there. Some of us have some catching up to do.  ;)

Looks great. Keep it up.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: patrat on November 23, 2009, 01:48:57 PM
You mentioned putting the fence up for security/privacy. Because you have the cross bracing on the outside, it is easier for someone to climb in from outside. Very unlikely to be an issue, but thought I would point it out.

Your homestead has got me jealous, and anxious to stop renting. Costs are so much higher on portable gardens.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on November 23, 2009, 04:13:21 PM
Just take some metal, like rebar and grind out a point and attach them to your fence.  It could have a decorative touch, but mainly it would discourage people from climbing over. 
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 23, 2009, 05:13:13 PM
patrat,

You mean the stringers? The horizontal board connecting the posts that the vertical pickets are on?

I thought about that; the truth is a wooden fence won't keep anyone out that really wants in.  I chose to have the nice looking side facing inside since this is a side border not seen from the road.  The security it provides is really to keep opportunists out and to provide some visual barrier to keep people from getting any ideas they wouldn't come by otherwise.

If you mean cross bracing in the context I mentioned it earlier,the bracing to provide stability to the 120' run of fence, it is actually on the inside, in the walls of the shed.   Another shot shows the 2x6 running up to brace the fence (the back of the shed is the fence).

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden256.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Mr. Vex on November 23, 2009, 06:52:18 PM

http://www.squarefootgardening.com/index.php/Patio-Boxes1/View-all-products.html (http://www.squarefootgardening.com/index.php/Patio-Boxes1/View-all-products.html)

$30 isn't that bad. I built a couple myself for a relatively cheap price. If you has some interested friends, combine efforts and share the costs on the building materials.

I'll make a post later showing the process we went through.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 23, 2009, 08:21:28 PM
Funny you mention building boxes/beds-  this evening i set up a jig with my mitre saw and cut 24 32" 2x6s then screwed them together.  The end product is/are 6 individual boxes to plant my blueberry bushes in this weekend. I still have to stain these but I'm glad to get the cutting & building out of the way.   Cost of these are about $6 each iirc what I paid for the 8' 2x6s.

Finished, with the walkboard work bench behind them:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden259.jpg)

On Lizzie's porch to stay dry before staining

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden260.jpg)



Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 23, 2009, 08:27:27 PM
Just take some metal, like rebar and grind out a point and attach them to your fence.  It could have a decorative touch, but mainly it would discourage people from climbing over. 

Sarahl,
Actually I was considering buying some of the plastic electric fence insulators and stringing a live looking but very dead wire along the back top of the fence, where it couldn't be seen from the inside but would unavoidable to anyone considering scaling it. 

Or maybe not, the neighborhood is actually pretty good, although being downtown we get a lot of walk through traffic by folks who wouldn't be walking a cul-de-sac in the 'burbs.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on November 23, 2009, 08:40:55 PM
I guess you can tell that I have thought on this matter quite abit.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 26, 2009, 06:10:56 AM
Frost! 

Damnit, wasn't supposed to get that low last night.  More scorched lettuce; probably not a disaster but I hate to lose anything still producing this late in the season here.

Lesson:

If you are preparing for a cold snap or frost, don't believe the weather forcasts. assume that a forcast low of 36 or 37 is close enough to frost conditions for it to happen.  I made a mini cold frame out of scrap and located enough plastic/cover to handle what I intended to protect starting tonight.
Actual low was 32 this morning, I saw the frost starting to spread in the yard at 630 when i got up; I went out in my jammies and hosed everything down really well with the 50-60 degree city water.  I checked again a little while later and that did raise temps enough to stop it.

Interesting thing though: The same patch of lettuce in the same bed got it again; I now know where my low spot is in the nano-micro-climate of that 400 sq ft of this tiny section of my "zone".

Funny how that last days of a garden are so precious to me and especially Mrs C, since we both know within a couple of weeks we'll lose all the lettuce to the low 20s weather just around the corner.....
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on November 26, 2009, 07:32:12 AM
Cohutt, I saw a program that had a gardener who planted lettuce in a large pot inside by a window.   She sprinkled the seeds all over and soon had a lettuce gala.  She said to just cut the lettuce off  a couple of inches for a salad and let the rest grow for more.  Don't know whether you want to go to the trouble but thought you might be interested.   It really sounded cool.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 26, 2009, 04:15:00 PM
Sarahl,
I have some plants that I planned on transpanting inside to finish off their growth- I just have been a little lazy getting it done.  I have a good sunroom window that faces south/southeast that gets a few hours of low winter sun, so we'll all know in a few weeks how well it works.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sarahluker on November 26, 2009, 04:33:08 PM
If you are lazy, then most of us are slothful! :)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 29, 2009, 05:21:43 PM
Couple of updates:


First, I finished putting the stain on the blueberry boxes and laid them out in a grid that ties in with my main raised beds.   Mrs C approved the layout as it doesn't encroach any more on the remaining long run of open yard near the house.   I will true these up over the week and do something to level where the tree bucket truck rutted the slope of the ground there.  Hopefully I can get the soil mixed and the bushes planted by next weekend.

These are 33x33 and will each hold a single rabbiteye blueberry bush (3 varieties x 2 each) which I have had for several weeks now. They are 3 gallon sized and currently tucked into a leaf/compost residue pile in the containers.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden264.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 29, 2009, 05:53:42 PM
The other and less enjoyable task I worked on was the next stretch of fence.  The back border of the property still had some old wire fence intertwined in privet, english Ivy and several "stumps" from 3 to 12 feet tall.  There were what the tree crew left behind due to the wire and yellow jackets (in the 12 foot stump, between the trunk and the inch thick sheath of woody ivy vines.  The tree contractor and I had to agree on a reduced price since the job wasn't finished).


After the wire, privet and ivy was removed and all but one of the stumps were cut back a bit, this was what was left:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden267.jpg)

I'm ashamed to say a couple of my trees had gotten as bad as the ones on my neighbor's property in the background. The good news is now this neighbor and another say they are going to clean up theirs as well.  The corner post has been sunk in and is visible with the mason's string heading to it.

Later, looking the other way after digging out & cutting down the stumps to grade along the fence line. LOL, I was pretty tired judging from how crooked I lined up the picture:  

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden269.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on November 29, 2009, 06:25:52 PM
Man, I wish I had that kind of energy.
Great job dude!
Those tricky Admins need a special title for you because you're such an inspiration to all of us gardeners.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on November 30, 2009, 04:58:29 PM
Broccoli cut and ready for tonight's dinner

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden270.jpg)

In the background are some white heirloom tomatoes I picked over the weekend to let ripen inside.  I have no idea what kind they actually are as a neighbor passed on 2 little plants in mid July that her daughter gave her.  We finally started getting some to pick a couple weeks ago.  In late Nov I'm pushing my luck by a month at least here.   They have a nice flavor but NOT like normal red August tomatoes.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on December 03, 2009, 08:58:23 PM
I did a reverse transplanting tonight seeing as how it is December and we are overdue for our first hard freeze of the year.

I found 3 cheap windowbox type pots at china-mart, filled them with some good lettuce fodder and then transplanted the youngest section of lettuce into them.  They are now in my sunroom waiting for me to put up a small shelf across the windows for them to soak in the sunshine from.

These are from the SSE 6 variety sampler- delicious stuff and interesting color as well.   What's not to like about a lettuce called "Amish Deer Tongue" anyway ;)  BTW the spotted stuff is supposed to look that way- it doesn't have frost burn on it and it isn't dirty.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden271.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden272.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: TexDaddy on December 03, 2009, 09:42:54 PM
BTW the spotted stuff is supposed to look that way- it doesn't have frost burn on it and it isn't dirty.
Cohutt, I would never suspect you of dealing in dirty lettuce. :D
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on December 04, 2009, 07:30:52 AM
Cohutt, you are a model of modern survivalism
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on December 05, 2009, 08:37:44 AM
Cohutt, you are a model of modern survivalism

Haha, thanks, not even close (yet) but working towards it.  

I'm just applying my somewhat aspergian obsessiveness to try and get my spring punchlist done sometime actually before spring.....
I have a good bit fence work left, I have to finish prepping the blueberry boxes/beds (did 3 last night what a pain), build several new raised beds in the newly sunny back portion of my yard, build a modular composting bin series, pickup a couple loads of composted leaves from my city public works dept (free), pickup another load of dairy cow manure (free again), and mix it all together to start on the next mega load of compost. I have to cut back (by hand) all the boxwoods in the garden to start getting them under control again.  Oh, and before I do the beds in the back, I need to put down carboard all over the back section then spread the big piles of what were the trees in the area.  I do NOT want to mow anything back there ever again.

But other than that I'm practically complete. ha.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on December 06, 2009, 06:34:41 PM
Weekend update 1

First, we had our first serious freeze (serious for N GA) Saturday night; temperatures got down in the low 20s.   I covered my last main plot of lettuce with a portable cold frame thing I made and left a light on under it all night. 

Success- the lettuce came through fine and we don’t have anything forecast into the 20s again for a while. 

This is from the same variety pack of seeds that my transplants above came from.  

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden275.jpg)


The broccoli came through fine- this stuff continues to mature into good sized and tasty heads:

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden276.jpg)

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on December 06, 2009, 07:01:53 PM
The freeze took out most everything else- I cleaned up things and pulled the last tomato plant, all the marigolds, the long in the tooth basil and the nubs from the lettuce I cut that evening.

It was a pretty big pile of stuff

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden277.jpg)

The garden looks a hell of a lot neater now for the first time in months. The pile of stuff is to the left and in the background the blueberry boxes are being installed.


(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden274.jpg)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on December 06, 2009, 07:08:21 PM
The blueberry boxes/beds are finally in; once I got the grid the way I wanted it I dribbled sand along the outside to mark the outline.   Then I screwed the 1x2s onto them to keep them in lined up and flipped them out of the way so I could cut the sod up and dig a hole out of the clay underneath.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden278.jpg)

To replace it and also fill the beds I mixed up a blend of my main batch of compost and peat (to keep the ph down).  In the picture above I had started filling them in a little but had a ways to go.

The compost looked damn good when I started shoveling it; this is good stuff and fully broken down.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden279.jpg)

 I used Mel’s tarp method to get it all fully blended together; I needed to wet the peat a bit and a light spray or two over it while spread out did the trick without getting it too soggy.

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden280.jpg)

This weekend I also dug all but one of the post holes for the back fence (no pictures but it took most of Saturday morning) and picked the peanuts out of the plants that had been drying for the last couple or 3 weeks.  I only had a few plants so the yield was modest- maybe 2 quarts of goober peas total.  We plan on making a little peanut butter with them.

Thanks for humoring me with a comment or two along the way; I think I'll close chapter 1 at the end of the month and consider chapter 2 next year when winter starts to thaw.

Carry on.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on December 06, 2009, 07:52:38 PM
Quote
Thanks for humoring me with a comment or two along the way; I think I'll close chapter 1 at the end of the month and consider chapter 2 next year when winter starts to thaw.
I have truly enjoyed Chapter 1!
I look forward to Chapter 2!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: TexDaddy on December 06, 2009, 10:18:06 PM
Great job, cohutt. A very inspirational 1st chapter.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on December 10, 2009, 04:55:28 PM
I've been down for the count since I posted Sunday night; the pull I felt earlier that evening in my lower back got angry for real..  I had cleaned up after all the digging and bent over to move an empty bucket when something popped.  It settled for a while but got a lot worse overnight and Monday; I ended up having to come home that afternoon and I spent 36 hours flat on my back.  It is touch and go right now and there is no frickin way I can get the blueberries in the ground anytime soon.  
Everything has basically been put on hold indefinitely until something gives.  I believe it is just a badly pulled muscle and not disk / spine issues; regardless it is very discouraging since I had been on a steady roll for weeks working on all this.

:(
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on December 10, 2009, 05:16:20 PM
Take care of yourself dude!
Rest up.
Those blueberries will be fine.
BTW, did you see what those trixty admins did to your title?
Garden Guru.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on December 10, 2009, 05:24:02 PM
LOL, I didn't until you pointed it out.

Sweet.  Now I'll have to live up to it.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on December 10, 2009, 05:25:38 PM
LOL, I didn't until you pointed it out.

Sweet.  Now I'll have to live up to it.
You already have my friend. You already have.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: TexDaddy on December 10, 2009, 09:16:24 PM
You already have my friend. You already have.
Amen.

By the way, maybe you should see a chiropractor, if you know a good one. The guy I go to is a miracle worker.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: mamabear on December 11, 2009, 09:52:10 AM
Cohutt, You should take some ibuprophen to help reduce the inflammation. That should help ease some of the pain as well. Then I second the advice to go to the chiropractor.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: teton traveler on December 11, 2009, 10:47:35 AM
All I can say about the garden is WOW!. It gets me excited for next summer. Hope you feel better!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on December 11, 2009, 07:05:45 PM
Thanks for the "well wishes", I'll be allright soon enough I guess.

Teton Trav,

I started from zero last may-
zero gardening expertise
zero garden space
zero local mentors
zero idea where it would go

One of Jack's podcasts woke something up in me and it clicked- I decided at that point that I was going to transform my yard into something productive, something that would move me not only closer to self sufficiency but closer to sanity, something to reground me and help me live the rest of my life in a more satisfying way.

At first Mrs was OK with the basic garden if it looked OK, then tasted some fresh produce and saw a glimpse what was possible.  By the time I reached the point of no return and cut the trees and pulled the hedges, she got it.  I call it our homesteading project; she talks about how nice it will be when our "compound" is further along.  We share the vision now and are completely on the same page.

I guess my point is that you, or me, or anybody here can really change things in our lives if we remain open to the possibilities. We can if we do what we know is right for us and not what others consider "normal'.  I still feel like I'm barely into this project and know I have a ton of work remaining, but I still look forward to every chance I get to work on this.  My friends thought I was a little whacked when I started but now they wish they had a similar plot on their own property.

Bottom line, DO IT.  Try it, kill some plants learning, you'll get the hang of it.  You can't eat what you "are going to grow".

And thank you Jack, you pushed the button that started it.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: teton traveler on December 12, 2009, 08:48:23 PM
You have come a long ways in a really short period of time. I have been around gardening most of my life, but we always did it the "conventional way". I have a small garden and have gotten some things out of it, but have never really had the organization that would make it produce well. Thanks to Jack, I also see it in a different light. Before, I did it partly to prepare, but, mainly because I couldn't get good tomatoes at the store. It was just kind of a pet project, but nothing to serious. Now I see it in a different light. It is not just about the good tomatoes, it is about the freedom that comes with it. It is about giving the government the middle finger by growing a tomato that they can't tax. It is about taking care of ourselves and reducing our dependence on the "systems". It is taking my freedom back, one tomato at a time. I am not in a situation where I can produce huge amounts of food, but I can use what I do have and make the most of it. I get tingles down my back thinking about the useless grass that I can take over and turn it in to something productive. Instead of paying money for the gas to run the lawn mower, I can save money and get something back for a change. I won't tell the neighbors, but there are several branches covering my garden plot that might just "disappear" this winter.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on December 13, 2009, 05:55:19 AM
Teton Traveler get his first +1 for getting "it".    :)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: patrat on December 13, 2009, 08:58:23 AM
The aesthetic of your garden is inspirational. My landlord has said that the yard looks Like a hillbilly cliche.

Can't wait to build something permanent, so I can stop using plastic totes.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: teton traveler on December 13, 2009, 08:16:52 PM
+1 for showing what can be done.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on December 18, 2009, 12:11:33 PM
My my back has improved dramatically as in the 12 days since I injured it, which was what I was hoping for under the assumption that it was a muscle pull.


Now if it would just stop raining here........ multi year drought seems to be over now geez
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Louisiana Suvivor on December 20, 2009, 12:54:06 AM
My my back has improved dramatically as in the 12 days since I injured it, which was what I was hoping for under the assumption that it was a muscle pull.


Now if it would just stop raining here........ multi year drought seems to be over now geez

good to hear brother. glad it's getting better. yeah it just stopped raining here. this month alone has brought LA 28+ inches
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on December 21, 2009, 05:31:01 PM
What a 1st year- It is December 21 we still have some fresh garden salad makings.

I've been covering the lettuce with plastic and putting a shop light underneath when the night time temp has dropped much below freezing; what I have left is all from the heirloom lettuce sample pack from SSE.  (This has convinced me that I will most definitely have some sort of a greenhouse/season extender built by next year.)  The Broccoli has taken temps down to 23 without issue and the yellow heirloom tomatoes were picked green last month.

Yum

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden284.jpg)

(http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m284/cohutt/Garden/Garden281.jpg)

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: mamabear on December 22, 2009, 01:17:05 PM
Cohutt, That's pretty stuff there. I bet it was as tasty as it looked.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on December 22, 2009, 06:56:08 PM
Cohutt
Allow me to point out a change in your title.
Much deserved.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on December 22, 2009, 06:59:09 PM
Thank you HoC.

(But I already ate the salad)   ;D
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: GreatwhiteNorth on December 22, 2009, 11:25:48 PM
Great read thanks for the updates and pictures.  I know I am getting old when my time on the internet is spent looking at garden porn.  :P
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on December 29, 2009, 05:58:41 AM
thanks greatwhitenorth- chapter 2 will commence in 2010 and will hopefully show even more progress as "we" work through the season

closing note on chapter 1:

I did manage to get the blueberries in the ground last week before the Christmas flu took down 3/4s of the cohutt clan.


edit:

Chapter 2 begins here: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=12690.0 (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=12690.0)
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: sherker55 on January 26, 2010, 10:09:23 PM
Hey man great work...been a while since I checked back...I was sorry to hear about your back, and am now glad you are doing better!

I am almost 3 weeks out of spine surgery...the at fault car accident was the week before Thanksgiving, 2008...I finally have feeling back in my legs! 

Looking forward to chapter 2 as well!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on January 27, 2010, 04:40:48 AM
Holy cow Sherker, sorry about your accident and glad to hear you can feel your legs again.  Hope you have a speedy an full recovery.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Sister Wolf on January 27, 2010, 09:16:26 AM
Hey man great work...been a while since I checked back...I was sorry to hear about your back, and am now glad you are doing better!

I am almost 3 weeks out of spine surgery...the at fault car accident was the week before Thanksgiving, 2008...I finally have feeling back in my legs! 

Looking forward to chapter 2 as well!

That's awesome!!!!!!  I'm glad to hear that the surgery was something of a success!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on March 11, 2010, 09:38:09 PM
Might as well see all the progress from the beginning.

Stickied this one as well.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: D Haught on March 18, 2010, 08:14:47 PM
Thanks for the great thread. I have been listening to the podcast for several months now and it really had me interested in learning how to do a sfg. This thread has been monumentally informative and inspirational to me. I have a lot of planning to do to figure out how to best do it in my own back yard but this has really helped set me on the path. Thanks.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cardon831 on April 30, 2010, 09:22:29 PM
This was GREAT! Thanks for the dedication in posting the pics.  It takes a lot of time to post like you did while in the mist of a project like that. Will check out chapter 2 next.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: ladieu on June 03, 2010, 09:04:11 PM
Awesome job. Simply outstanding!
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: Folinator1 on June 11, 2010, 01:01:11 PM
Cohutt -
Great posts, photos and journaling. Your journey has been interesting to follow.

Quick question about broccoli and cabbage worms you mentioned. I'm having the same problem and wondered how you dealt with them and brought your broccoli back to life. I've read about using bacillus thuringiensis (BT) on the web and would prefer not to use it unless it's the only option. My square foot garden was planted using the Mel's Mix recipe so the soil should be good.

Also, how did you start your peanuts?

Thanks again.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on June 11, 2010, 03:55:07 PM
Cohutt -
Great posts, photos and journaling. Your journey has been interesting to follow.

Quick question about broccoli and cabbage worms you mentioned. I'm having the same problem and wondered how you dealt with them and brought your broccoli back to life. I've read about using bacillus thuringiensis (BT) on the web and would prefer not to use it unless it's the only option. My square foot garden was planted using the Mel's Mix recipe so the soil should be good.

Also, how did you start your peanuts?

Thanks again.

I'm pretty sure I hit the remnants of the leaves with a pyrethrum; I ended up spending a lot of time eye to eye with the plants once I spotted the little buggers.  They are so small and very well camo'd that I really had to put my face in the plant to find the worms.  Found worms were dead worms.  One day it seemed like i couldn't find any more and they never really came back.

The peanuts - you just plant the individual goober peas (shelled but with the papery husk still on them) in the ground an inch or so under I believe.   They aren't conducive to SFG unless you have a lot of space; i didn't plant anythis year but I do have a volunteer plant I have let grow.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: TwoBluesMama on August 17, 2010, 08:49:41 AM
+1 for an awesome garden.  I think everyone who grew something this nice should get at least 5 karma points but alas the good karma fairy isn't here (maybe I can steal her job!)  Nice job Cohutt - you've done an awesome job documenting what you grew and how for everyone. 
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on August 17, 2010, 07:58:32 PM
+1 for an awesome garden.  I think everyone who grew something this nice should get at least 5 karma points but alas the good karma fairy isn't here (maybe I can steal her job!)  Nice job Cohutt - you've done an awesome job documenting what you grew and how for everyone. 
:)
Thank you.

It has been a learnfest for sure.

Oh, I accept cash if your karmas are limited.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: ladieu on August 17, 2010, 09:28:14 PM
I love the tomato avatar. It is pretty awesome. I pulled one out the other day with a weird growth on it and thought of you.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: deanabess on June 10, 2013, 06:25:20 PM
You can hang old computer CD's or DVD's around the tomatoes and other plants that birds like. It's not a perfect system but it does help detour the birds and some other varmints. Also, I usually sprinkle human and dog hair around the gardening areas, fruit trees, and herb gardens to keep out varmints. Seems to work ok except for the raccoons that like to eat my pineapples so last year, I used the rose, blackberry, olive, and fruit tree prunings that are thorny and placed them around my pineapples. That seems to detour the racoons so I could let our pineapple get nice and ready before we picked it.
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on June 10, 2013, 06:54:08 PM
You can hang old computer CD's or DVD's around the tomatoes and other plants that birds like. It's not a perfect system but it does help detour the birds and some other varmints. Also, I usually sprinkle human and dog hair around the gardening areas, fruit trees, and herb gardens to keep out varmints. Seems to work ok except for the raccoons that like to eat my pineapples so last year, I used the rose, blackberry, olive, and fruit tree prunings that are thorny and placed them around my pineapples. That seems to detour the racoons so I could let our pineapple get nice and ready before we picked it.


Thanks-  Fast forward to 2013, I've developed lots of schemes to protect things.  :)

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=40265.0
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: ishanguptaa on November 19, 2015, 11:28:58 PM
Hi Cohutt

I am new here,,, so just wanted to stop by and say congratulations for all the hardwork.

I also checked your blog,, impressive work at cohutt :)

Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: bigbear on March 22, 2017, 01:22:04 PM
Have any updates on the garden?
Title: Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
Post by: cohutt on March 22, 2017, 03:17:13 PM
Have any updates on the garden?

It is still there... I've had a couple of years of work distractions that have burned up my extracurricular mental energy so I have not kpet posting up to date, here or on myblog. Only so much time and energy...
I've managed to distract myself from manic gardening a bit by adding beehives to the mix.  This year's early spring has me behind the curve a bit.