Author Topic: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2  (Read 190452 times)

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #60 on: February 14, 2010, 08:11:25 PM »
The garden is fine=

I have the remnants of the deer netting around the orignal garden; it keeps cats and dog at bay and apparently it catches wet snow better than anything.  That's what is sagging around the border.
the front left is a little 3x3 cold frame i made to cover the lettuce still in the garden. it held up fine.

indoor lettuce is ok, it is a little leggy now.  We've been taking a leaf or two off of all the inside and outside plants a couple times a week for a fresh salad.  the outside lettuce has better texture and more intense flavor though.


Offline jawjaboy

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #61 on: February 14, 2010, 08:17:17 PM »
I saw your Vermiculite pile and only one word came to mind...



You rock Cohutt!  +1 Big Time!

Cohutt,
Did the walls on your original garden get injured in the snow. It looked like they were sagging. I saw it is supposed to snow a couple inches tonight too. Also, do you have a cover on one of those beds in the left corner or is that a big pile of snow?  How is your indoor lettuce doing?


And Mel, my garden isn't very big... yet  ;)  Cohutt though is giving me a big jump start for my own garden and thread. The man is an inspiration to us all, that's why he's the Guru.

I spied that pile as well Mister Ros. Ain't no man alive need that much vermiculite, none. Get me some while ya at it.   ;)

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #62 on: February 15, 2010, 06:40:12 AM »
It isn't so tall now- 2 1/2 of them are gone off the top with 5" of Mel's mix now down in the asparagus bed.

It's ok though-  I found 5 more stowed under the house from last summer.  Doh!

:)

No snow here, just some serious rain overnight and some cold gales blowing this morning. (I'll do some indoor work this morning...... Brrrrrrrrrr.  )

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #63 on: February 20, 2010, 06:51:36 AM »
This morning I managed to get the free load of dairy cow manure I was after; unfortunately is is nastily fresh so I'll need to compost it before adding it to the new beds.    I'm about to got start after I think about how I'm going to do the composting.  I think at the end of each bed I'm going to put a 3' diameter wire cage to do it so I won't be moving this heavy wet stuff all over my yard. 

Off to fork manure before the springs on my truck warp lol.  Can you guys smell it?  (I can. )


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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #64 on: February 20, 2010, 12:20:12 PM »
I have manure envy!
:hare:

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #65 on: February 20, 2010, 05:56:02 PM »
I got to meet Roswell today- he used a few bags of cheap vermiculite as an excuse to escape in-laws at his house.    He can testify that the stuff was "fresh"; some real barnyard funk was in the air while the stuff was drying in the 3 temporary compost cages I threw together to hold it....

It was a beautiful day here today- Ros and I were comfortable in short sleeve tee shirts while we toured cohutt gardens :)

Besides meeting a fellow TSPF prepper....
I got the manure picked up and unloaded
I cleaned up my original garden, getting ready to sow the first early greens of the season (spinach)
I scavenged some decent cardboard and finished lining the remaining mega beds ahead of soil mixing tommorrow.
And I got some seeds started inside (a little later than I should have).

random shots at the end of the day:

cardboard and manure stacks



More cardboard and another manure stack





Cardboard base installed in the short (12')  bed after removing and leveling some of the chipped tree mulch:




how much better was today that last Saturday?  Substantially

Last Saturday:  :)




Offline jawjaboy

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #66 on: February 20, 2010, 06:20:48 PM »
I spy a perfect spot fer chikins, Ma did too.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #67 on: February 20, 2010, 07:06:45 PM »
I spy a perfect spot fer chikins, Ma did too.

Yeah I haven't made any plans for the area up above the Camellia other than the 3x16 asparagus bed that's allready tucked in behind it.  
There'd be plenty of space for a little coop and run, even with a wad of raspberry and/or blackberry canes up there too.  I think the open area is around 30x40 ft at a minimum.

The only other place is right up next to the house which would also be right under the screen porch/deck of my close neighbor. They're friends and I figure it'd be better to put a little space between domestic fowl and their outdoor living space.  The area in the back doesn't intrude on anyone's space, either visually or olfactory-wise.

Not saying we'll do it, just keeping options open.  :)

Offline CharlieFoxtrot

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #68 on: February 22, 2010, 11:42:12 AM »
Newbie question here:  why did you line the base of the raised beds with cardboard? 
PS thanks for these posts they are very motivating!

Offline Roswell

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #69 on: February 22, 2010, 12:34:28 PM »
I believe it was to ensure that no grass or anything will come up through his garden. You can use landscaping cloth too. However, cardboard will decompose and compost over time so, after a while all the good little worms can break through. Grass in garden bad, worms good.  ;)

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #70 on: February 22, 2010, 04:54:18 PM »
Newbie question here:  why did you line the base of the raised beds with cardboard? 
PS thanks for these posts they are very motivating!

Thank you, posting it motivates me as well.....

Roswell is right- to give a barrier for the early part of the growing season.   

Personally I don't like landscape cloth anymore- I had some leftover that i edged an area with last year but the cardboard works as well if not better.  I have had bermuda, zoysia and that awful nutgrass stuff all push through landscape cloth before.

Offline trucker larry

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #71 on: February 25, 2010, 06:59:03 PM »
Something I have used in the past is the "bubble wrap" solar cover for a pool. Lay the solar cover out on the grass, add 4 hours of sun, and you have dead grass. Worked so well not even weeds grew that year.
(For those guessing, yes, it was "unintentional" when I found out how well this method of grass-killing worked  ;D )
This method is particularly good for large-ish  areas (say, 18' x 24').
 I have also used clear "painters plastic" to scorch-earth smaller sections. This has the advantage of
a) not needing a pool
b) cheap
c) being able to tailor the size/shape of the area being killed
Using the latter, you do need more sunlight, 12 hours of full sun would be enuff to do the job. I don't know if it burns seeds, I just know that after doing this, not even crabgrass/clover/weeds will sprout for months.

Offline trucker larry

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #72 on: February 25, 2010, 07:09:34 PM »
Cohutt,
 Considering your problem last year w/ Dog Vomit Fungus, have you considered getting rid of the woodchips? When I first saw the picture of the back area w/ all that great (and free) wood chip mulch, I was seriously envious. But I started thinking of the potential problems, not only with fungus, but as a breeding ground for pests. Not too many beneficial insects would use it to nest, i think. And once the pests make a home in all that mulch, it would sure be a bitch to try to get them rooted out of there...
Don't get me wrong: I have no experience with that type of problem, but I also have never mulched that large an area, especially with a soon to be buffet a short crawl away.

Offline trucker larry

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #73 on: February 25, 2010, 07:28:00 PM »
After looking at your pictures showing the cardboard, I noticed the shadows and the way they are falling across the 3 new beds. It appears to me that you won't be able to grow vertically except in the box closest to the fence (without seriously shading the other boxes). The picture with the snow probably shows it best. Granted I don't know the time the pic was taken or the exact orientation of the yard so I may be completely off base here... But just take the corn you grew last year: If you planted that same corn in the middle new box, how much sunlight would it "steal" from the box to the left and right before and after noon?

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #74 on: February 25, 2010, 08:03:12 PM »
Good points Larry-

My first year of trying this gave me quite a bit of education on seasonal sun angles and alignment.  Yes I was aware of the general conditions before but it is amazing how much you remember it when you are horrified to realize the tree you thought wasn't a factor starts casting shadows on parts of your garden in Late August.   I promise you will learn a lot about it this year too lol.

Orientation of the beds vs true north is important when it comes to interplanting and working around the different heights and sun requirements of whatever you are trying to grow.

The beds in the original plot are all along N/S/E/W alignment and have a little space between them so.

The new longer beds all run due north and south. I could have fit more in if they had the same alignment of the fence but that wasn't the main goal.   Taller plants will be on the north ends and shorter on the southern. 

In regards to the fence shadows, I'm not concerned.  The snow pictures were taken at 9:30 in the morning in the middle of Feb- the sun is low on the horizon still but the angle improves dramatically after the last frost date here in April when I'll need sunlight.  The fence is around 8' high but there is a minimum of 12 feet to the closest corner of the beds.  The cardboard pictures were taken at 4:58 PM on the 20th of Feb.  During the summer the sun will be cooking the same ground still even at 5:00. 

So since I don't grow much in Feb I can live with it although it is cold as hell in the shade sometimes while I'm trying to build this out. 

BTW i found some odd corn i am trying this year that supposedly grows only 2 1/2 to 3' tall.  It is the heirloom variety Jade Blue (or Blue Jade?) available at seed savers and other heirloom providers. 

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #75 on: February 25, 2010, 08:16:57 PM »
I just noticed the mulch post in there too

On fungus- the dog vomit slime mold was a gross, somewhat novel intruder into my beds but was harmless.  The whole cycle was only 48 or 72 hours.   I'm sure I'll have some more invasions this year too but I'll just deal with it I guess.

I think the mulch will accomplish what I want it to do as it decays over the next couple of years.  I want it to smother all the junk that was growing back there and give me a somewhat clean slate to work with. 

I guess my biggest concern is with slugs but didn't have any issues last year with them in the bagged mulch. 

A couple of people I know locally actually have the tree service guys dump the mulch in their yards every couple of years for similar use and they haven't complained of issues in their gardens. 

I guess I'll observe and find out as the year progresses, which is pretty much the same for everything else too.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #76 on: February 28, 2010, 07:03:30 AM »
It was a nice day here but I spent no time on this project- had to head north to find out why the power bill jumped 400% for the month ending Feb 17 @ the mountain bol.   
I had some ideas what might be causing this but still halfway expected to find that someone had moved in since nobody had checked it out since before Christmas. 

Once there the problem was apparent; I didn't even have to get out of the truck to figure it out LOL:

(sorry for the larger pics but i wnated to inspect everything more closely from my chair here before i went back up.)




Insdie the pumphouse, an artesian well that gobble up $5 of power per day; the good news is that we seem to have an unlimited supply of water available from this well. Also I should be able to fix it for under $10 the next trip up...
 


While I was up there I took care of a large fallen oak; having a new large chainsaw makes life so much easier- the base of the tree was 28" and the new Stihl gobbled it up without pause.  I retired a 20 year old woodboss 026 and put a meatier 390 with a 20" bar in service. :) :) :)





Today is back to garden work at home.

Offline monkeybird

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #77 on: February 28, 2010, 07:20:56 AM »
Cohutt - I need you at my house!  Great inspiration.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #78 on: February 28, 2010, 07:24:10 AM »
Wow.  So, any idea of the cause of the break?  I'd assume the short term fix was unplugging the pump?

Offline jawjaboy

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #79 on: February 28, 2010, 07:58:18 AM »
Frozen pipe a do it erry time C.

BTW...who is ya electrician?  :)

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #80 on: February 28, 2010, 10:23:50 AM »
One of the snows up there that had some ice in it must have knocked the power out to everyone on the road for a while.  With the little space heater off line, eventually there would be problems.  I'm just glad it was the pvc and not the expensive stuff.

All I did was take the pump offline by throwing the only breaker box lever with my boot.

Jawja, I figured you might accuse me of that work lol; I promise none of that is mine.  The main stuff is from the early 70s when the setup was installed; some might have come from when we upgraded the pump and added a filter a few years ago.  My fil rigged the wire off of the box on the house side of the breaker so we could shut off the pump but leave a heater or light going.   I figure the mice help out a little along the way too. ;)

I think I'm going tear the whole thing down and build one that is better insulated this summer.  The bottom logs are rotting away and the shingles are about shot too.

It is on the list.

I'll hire out when my own to do list is finished.  ha like that'll happen.....

Offline nimzy88

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #81 on: March 02, 2010, 07:40:26 PM »
Atleast that lawn is lookin green  : ;)

Offline pappabear

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #82 on: March 02, 2010, 08:09:12 PM »
wow cohutt, that was a soggy mess.  I'm glad to see that you have a good attitude about the whole thing.  And by the way, I have a strong case of BOL envy...  hopefully soon, but no dedt and paying the debt down is more important at this time.

+1 buddy.

Pappa Bear

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #83 on: March 02, 2010, 08:26:56 PM »
At least that lawn is lookin green  : ;)
LOL...
Funny but this really will be a good thing.  The wild hogs tore that part of the yard to hell 3 or 4 winters ago (See below) and the ground was as smooth as an artillery range after that. I noticed some of the rougher spots had been softened enough to settle back into grade some.  

pappa bear, be patient and you will find your spot if you kill debt first.  I'm almost 50 so it didn't happen the year I entered the work force.((understatement.  ha. ))

after the rooting- any wonder I hate hogs?  the pump house would be just out of the picture to the right.


« Last Edit: March 02, 2010, 08:29:15 PM by cohutt »

Offline Roswell

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #84 on: March 03, 2010, 06:30:46 AM »
I keep trying to tell you Cohutt. You don't have a hog problem. You just have a shortage of BBQ sauce  ;) 

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #85 on: March 03, 2010, 07:18:54 PM »
My wife asks me why I won't do things like everyone else anymore. 

I don't know really.  In this case I had seen a security light at a friend's house and asked about it. Flourex - some sort of high output fluorescent.  I need to add another flood light at the house and decided to try one-
After reading some about the quality of the light these put out (google kept pulling up dope growing forums on "flourex grow light" searches lol) I figured I take the shop light back to the basement and do a temporary rig with the flourex.

It is a lot brighter than it appears in the pic and just might work, especially with some reflector boxing around the flats...  will let you all know.


Offline trucker larry

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #86 on: March 03, 2010, 07:37:10 PM »
Cohutt,
  After seeing what the hogs did to your yard, I ain't gonna complain about the tunnels the one vole I have creates again!

  For the shop light rig you have, how long do you plan on keeping it on? I have read other places about 17 hrs for flourescents but since your light is so much brighter, was wondering if you plan on adjusting the time... Not an idle question, since I plan on stealing your idea.  ;D
I just happen to have a quad 500 watt shoplight but hadn't thought of using it for starting my seeds and am now thumping my head on why it hadn't occured to me!

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #87 on: March 03, 2010, 07:51:50 PM »
Honestly i don't really know how long I sould leave it on.  I have a great "wall of window" that catches the southern sun to the right of the picture; I guess I'll give them more of a rest from the lgiht on days they get a lot of natural sun.

Offline johngalt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #88 on: March 03, 2010, 08:19:15 PM »
I wanna see your tan after you check on the seedlings   ;D

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #89 on: March 04, 2010, 06:13:13 PM »
This morning I moved stuff around since it looks like the sun will be out for 3 or 4 days in a row here.  I came back by the house at lunch to make sure the seedlings weren't wilting.  I think I have my system for the rest of the seed starting stage worked out now.

Good sun from around 9:00 AM until around 4:00. 
Electric oil filled radiator for gentle local heat supplement (mainly at night). It fits conveniently under the plant shelf I out up last fall for lettuce so it can help warm soil from underneath too.
high output fluorescent flood light clamped to an adjustable tripod for supplemental light.






The lettuce gets a little leggy inside with no supplemental light and it isn't as robust as the outside lettuce protected under plastic, but it still beat the hell out of Kroger bag "lettuce".  (I just realized you can see the outdoor lettuce patch and the rigged cover in the background)