Author Topic: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2  (Read 190555 times)

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #120 on: March 14, 2010, 07:10:21 PM »
I also made a couple more of the 2x8 beds out of some of the 1x8"s.  I'm going to use two of these for pole beans and one for potatoes.  The 3x3 bed I made the other evening from the last 12' 2x12 bed is in the foreground.  I will try and place these this week now that I'll have some daylight to work in when I get home in the evening.







(Also noticed my the spinach perked up since last week)



« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 07:14:18 PM by cohutt »

Offline OKGranny

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #121 on: March 14, 2010, 08:06:50 PM »
Those are some grape vines, wow. My husband insists on calling them "wait a minute vines" cause if you're out in the woods and you get tangled up in them all you can do is yell wait a minute to the people you're with while you try and hack your way through.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #122 on: March 16, 2010, 08:48:40 PM »
I haven't posted much on my first seed starting attempts seed starting cuz I really wasn't sure how it was going. 

I opted to start the seeds in vermiculite and then transplant the sprouts into peat pots.  It actually went pretty well I guess; I had decent germination and maybe a 90% + survival rate once in the peat pots.  I lifted a 2 bulb 48" shop lit from my basement initially and then rigged the high output fluorescent outdoor floodlight to a tripod.  My window gets enough sun to have grown lettuce in the winter and it seems to be doing OK with these.

OK so here you are:

3 types of tomatoes and a bunch of teeny ground cherries sowed in the vermiculite on Feb21 and transplanted a week or 10 days later maybe.  The ground cherries are the smallones in the front, the big ones in the back right are Roma VF, the smaller ones in the back left are Martino's Roma and Red Brandywine are in the middle right.
I had the light supplementing the tray to the right all afternoon and the plants all started leaning that direction after the sun passed (left to right as well). 






This tray has some odd stuff in it- The back is one Tommy-Toe cherry tomato that was sprouted at the same time plus 4 pots that I just moved some more germinated seeds into last night.  I tried the "seed in a wet papertowel in a Ziploc under the refrigerator method" and it worked like charm.  The seeds are about to push out.

The bunch in the forground are the surprise grab bag of tomatoes that sprouted from the consolidated vermiculite after i had given up on any more germinations.  About 3 days after I emptied all the little Tupperware sprouting containers into one larger one they appeared.  I figured they deserved to live if they fought that hard to find the surface after being 1 or 2" deep and about to be discarded.   They were part of the 2/21 sowing; the all had very small sprouts but 2 to 3" tap roots.  I moved these survivors to peat pots last night and they all seem to be responding to the attention very well.


The Romas and brandywines were getting a little leggy so I started to transplant them to 4" pots.  I put the peat pot on the bottom of the empty plastic pot then filled in round it and brought level of the soil up the stems a good bit; I'll finish this tommorrow...



Finally, a picture of my mini "Little Shop of Horrors" seedling- an Emerald artichoke.  These are my oddball experiment this year; Mrs C is Artichoke crazy and if I get any yield I'll be a hero.  But the real reason is these thistle are spectacular plants and an interesting addition even if there are no 'chokes to harvest.


Offline johngalt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #123 on: March 16, 2010, 09:05:56 PM »
Lookin' good Cohutt!  You are a busy man.  What are the toothpicks for in the artichoke pots?

Offline Crispy Critter

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #124 on: March 16, 2010, 09:14:48 PM »

"Feed me, Seymour Cohutt"!   ;D

I can definitely see the resemblance to Audrey Junior!


Offline pappabear

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #125 on: March 16, 2010, 10:48:13 PM »
cohutt...

i noticed that you were "painting" ur boards for ur beds.  What are you using and are you at all concerned about the chemical leeching into the soil around, in, and under your beds???

Let me know, i would like to put some type of coating on my beds as well but was concerned about the chemicals and decided against it.

thanx,

pappa bear

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #126 on: March 17, 2010, 04:36:13 AM »
johngalt the toothpicks were just pot IDs - half of one pointed up = artichoke .   I am too cheap to put a nice 2 cent white label stick in each pot lol

pappa bear-

on the the original beds that I put in last year i used a water based stain on the outside of the boards strictly to make them more eye appealing from the house.  Since the strawberry structure was added to this I used some of the last of the stain to match it.

As far as leaching chemicals, no, I'm not really worried about it  (Now someone may jump in and tell me definitively all the awful things I'm going to be ingesting).   I think we all are hyper tuned to be sensitive to this when we wake up an and realize what we have been eating from the food factory all these years and desire to have "pure" nutritious food in our backyards.   We have control over things for the first time and it is empowering-  Nothing wrong with this, it is just that at some point I believe it all follows the law of rapidly diminishing returns.   

So for the record I used treated lumber with commercial water based stain on the outside.  I water my plants with raincatch that comes off of a new roof with architectural asphalt based shingles on it.  Birds and squirrels crap on it too I'm sure.  the ground under my beds were lined with cardboard probably made 10 miles west of my house @ the Temple Inland mill using the kraft process which is a really harsh sulfate bath. 

Despite all this I feel much better about food grown in may backyard than food grown in California or south Florida or Argentina or .......  :)

 

Offline Crispy Critter

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #127 on: March 17, 2010, 04:56:01 AM »
...snip...
Despite all this I feel much better about food grown in may backyard than food grown in California or south Florida or Argentina or .......  :)
 

Well said, Cohutt. I went through the exact same thought process just a few days ago when putting pieces of cardboard down in my garden expansion. One of the larger pieces was some Chinese cardboard. The discussion I had with myself at that moment followed the arguments you put forth above.

I haven't had the ability to divert finances for purchasing wood treatments or the more expensive hardwoods for my raised beds. I am just using untreated pine planks left over from a friend's large shelving project. They have lasted two years with only minor warping. My long-term plan includes harvesting thornless honey locust for future ground-contact timber...but that will take a few more seasons to implement.


Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #128 on: March 17, 2010, 05:04:34 AM »
johngalt the toothpicks were just pot IDs - half of one pointed up = artichoke .   I am too cheap to put a nice 2 cent white label stick in each pot lol

I have 2 words for you about cheap plant labels, Mini Blinds.  If you are taking one down, cut it into 5" strips and you will have enough labels for several years.  You can even go out of your way and get new mini blinds for about $5, not bad for several hundred labels.

I'm very impressed.  Hard to believe that you are only a year or 2 into gardening.  Quite a lot of progress. 

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #129 on: March 17, 2010, 12:20:25 PM »
My long-term plan includes harvesting thornless honey locust for future ground-contact timber...but that will take a few more seasons to implement.


Funny you netion that- one of the plant species that gets in the way at my BOL is black locust. I made looked around Saturday when I was up there to find a couple that might be good bed borders.  They aren't thornless but they aren't as bad as an angry honey locust...


[/quote]
I have 2 words for you about cheap plant labels, Mini Blinds.  If you are taking one down, cut it into 5" strips and you will have enough labels for several years.  You can even go out of your way and get new mini blinds for about $5, not bad for several hundred labels.

I'm very impressed.  Hard to believe that you are only a year or 2 into gardening.  Quite a lot of progress. 

I threw out some mini blinds last year at work. :( 

Yes Fritz, everyone should remember that I didn't even decide to do anything until 11 months ago in April 2009.  I started by getting my compost in order and adding a truckload of manure to the mix.   I didn't even get seeds in the ground in the new beds until midJune, 2 months after the last frost.

I'm not saying this because I think I'm special or anything; I think it is good to point it out to reinforce to anyone considering starting a garden.  Most any of us can do a LOT in a short period if we make the decision to move ahead with it.  Personally I think this is truly a journey vs a destination, so incremental progress is all I am after, a little each day mostly.

Offline johngalt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #130 on: March 17, 2010, 12:33:15 PM »
Quote
I am too cheap to put a nice 2 cent white label stick in each pot lol

My wife came up with a great use for all the yogurt containers I've been saving...she cut them into strips for using as plant labels..they actually work really well.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #131 on: March 17, 2010, 12:40:57 PM »
I'm not saying this because I think I'm special or anything; I think it is good to point it out to reinforce to anyone considering starting a garden.  Most any of us can do a LOT in a short period if we make the decision to move ahead with it.  Personally I think this is truly a journey vs a destination, so incremental progress is all I am after, a little each day mostly.
Exactly what I meant by it.  You decided to make a change, and you followed through.

Offline OKGranny

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #132 on: March 17, 2010, 02:00:12 PM »
Oh my gosh I hadn't even considered trying artichokes as we don't live where they are 'suppose' to grow but if you get even one I'm planting them next year. I love, love, love artichokes and they are much better right off the plant than they are from my local stores.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #133 on: March 18, 2010, 07:38:14 PM »













Offline johngalt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #134 on: March 18, 2010, 07:44:40 PM »
Strawberries!  What variety did you get?

VERY nice Cohutt. +1 for Cohutt's Eden

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #135 on: March 18, 2010, 08:07:23 PM »
I'll be glad when my strawberries come in.  I sure would like to get them started.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #136 on: March 18, 2010, 08:42:03 PM »

Honeoye June bearing. 

I have no idea how this will work out and I'm sure some innocent plants will sacrifice themselves for the sake of my education.  :)

Still the best way to learn eh?

Mrs C said she'd rather have a short strawberry orgy in early summer vs picking a berry or three here and there over a season.








Offline Roswell

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #137 on: March 18, 2010, 09:04:26 PM »
Looking good man. You are really opening things up back there. You can see the bell!

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #138 on: March 18, 2010, 09:22:39 PM »
Yes Ros I even drained it and got the bird skeletons and leaf goo out of it; it was pretty nasty so i figured it had to be a good addition to my compost piles :)  I am planning on grabbing a couple of comet goldfish to eat larvae all summer.  I've had some live several years without me having to feed anything to them

I was using the crowbar you see there to probe for the shale flagstones covered up by years of leaves and mother nature's composting; It actually rings the bell pretty well even when it is full of water.

Offline pappabear

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #139 on: March 18, 2010, 11:40:57 PM »
looks outstanding cohutt... keep it up.

pappa bear

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #140 on: March 19, 2010, 08:01:55 PM »
I'm off to the Tin Foil Hat forum to discuss the location of the REAL Liberty Bell.  Who would have thought is was so far south of Philadelphia...

Seriously looks good tho...  I like the roof on your tool shed

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #141 on: March 19, 2010, 08:27:53 PM »
lol

The bell is the original fire bell for my town.  Back before radio, if a fire broke out the bell would be rung from its spot on top of one of the downtown hills to garner the volunteer firefighters. It is huge and has to be 2 or 3 inches thick  It was here when I bought the house in 1987; the house has been here for a little while- this old house celebrates its 140th birthday this year.

BTW I used white vinegar to take some of the sheen off of the metal roofing before I put it up-.

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #142 on: March 19, 2010, 08:33:00 PM »
good idea for the vinegar treatment.

That's awesome to have a bit of history in your house as well as your backyard.  lookin gooooooooooood

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #143 on: March 20, 2010, 08:38:07 PM »
this afternoon i worked on the beds along the fence line.  My plans for them are to put cardboard down and then some decently composted woodchip mulch.  I have to do something cuz  else the privet and god knows what else will wake up.  Besides Mrs C said I needed to clean up the fence line before Easter, when her family descends upon us.

First I ripped out 8 6" x 8' strips from the composite plastic roof decking I scavenged.  This stuff is pretty stout but flexible; i think it is 1/2", maybe 3/8" thick.



Then i measured and set a line 30" off the fence and dug out under it.




Cardboard




mulch





more, with a curve at the corner post to make some room for passage of lawnmowers and wheelbarrels




Found some more carboard around the corner behind a store



I plan on sticking a few plants in it- what exactly I'm not sure.

tommorrow I actually plant some stuff.




Offline johngalt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #144 on: March 20, 2010, 09:10:09 PM »
Once again, very nice cohutt....with all that structure, you've got your own little English garden going.  Looks great!

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #145 on: March 21, 2010, 07:38:57 PM »
I'm glad asparagus only needs to be planted once then is good for 10 or 15 years or more; this was more work that I thought just because of all the awkward bending over to get the plants just right before covering. 

I had already prepped the bed, a long 16x3 one built from 2x12s.   4-5” of Mel's mix with some bone meal added over cardboard over woodchips.

First step- soak the crowns for and hour or two before starting.  If you haven't ever seen a bundle of crowns, it is an odd dead looking clump of roots:



I had two bundles of 20 for this bed; I figured a 3x13 grid would work.  I started by setting a center line to work off of for the center row. After spading out a wide level trench a couple inches deep,  I marked the side board ever 14” of so and then dropped the crowns in roughly where they would be set:



The next step is to cup up some of the soil into a little pyramid or cone and then set the crown on it so that the roots radiate down and around fairly evenly.  You can sort of see this with the small one the left that is in place.



The center row is set:



Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #146 on: March 21, 2010, 07:43:02 PM »
To cover the crowns I mixed 1 part vermiculite, 1 part mushroom compost and 2 parts composted cow manure plus a good dose of bonemeal.  (As usual the dry vermiculite is almost white and makes the mix look light.)



Next, the two outside rows






It started raining some as I covered the rest of the crowns with the manure mixture; not how much darker it looks now with the vermiculite wet.



The rain stopped and I finished by adding another couple inches of Mel's mix made with my “regular” yard waste compost.   ( there's that dry vermiculite again....)

Done.  :)



Offline Roswell

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #147 on: March 21, 2010, 07:56:49 PM »
Wow, I had no idea asparagus was such a pain in the ass to get planted.  Mrs. C will be happy though I bet.

Good job on the fence line bed by the way. Nice foresight in the curve around your post.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #148 on: March 22, 2010, 11:16:10 AM »
Thanks for the step by step.  Unfortunately since I'm at work, I can't see any of the pictures.  I'll have to take another look once I get home.

Offline Crispy Critter

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #149 on: March 22, 2010, 12:16:34 PM »
Thanks for the step by step.  Unfortunately since I'm at work, I can't see any of the pictures.  I'll have to take another look once I get home.

fritz, One of the pictures looks like the final resting place for a bunch of beached sea anemone's.  :D

Cohutt, have you considered planting a fragrant bush at the little curved passage? That way, each time you roll by with a full wheel barrow, sweating from all the exertion, you'll be awarded with a pleasant scent. Just a thought. I live in ranching country, so the smell of other people's profit wafts onto my property every now and then. :P  :P 

I am learning to populate my outer zones with fragrant species that my GF and I both like. No specific recommendations here since everybody's tastes are different, but I'm willing to entertain any suggestions.