Author Topic: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2  (Read 190450 times)

Offline johngalt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #180 on: March 30, 2010, 08:26:39 AM »
Quote
afraid it I pounded the fresh cut stuff into the ground it would root, sprout and take over my plot like it did my friend's vacant lot

Cohutt, how long do you think you'd have to let it dry out so that it would "de-activate"?  Just wondering....I have some arundo(sp?) - not really like bamboo - that I cut and use, and it always makes me think that I should get some bamboo for lots of potential uses - homemade trellises, pea sticks, etc.  I need to do some research on what types will grow in Ohio though.  Homestead is lookin' good.

Offline nimzy88

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #181 on: March 30, 2010, 05:47:21 PM »

I have faith you will find a multitude of uses for the stuff. I'm even considering planting some non-clumping bamboo at the lower, north end of my property. I really, really need a windbreak and I am almost willing to suffer another bamboo invasion if it will convert my property from "wind-swept" to "cool breezes".


Crispy Critter and the whole gang, have you found many other ways to create a windbreak for your garden? I only have a small 4x4 and 4x2 gardens one is the gf's with just decorative flowers, we live in Vegas which is just a huge valley and the wind tears through our backyard, any suggestions? FYI, I rent so whatever I do must be reversible if needed.
Thanks

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #182 on: March 30, 2010, 07:39:17 PM »
Last night I got the potatoes in (or really "on") the ground.  They are scattered about in 1 dedicated bed and a few squares in 4 other beds.

Disclaimer: I have never grown potatoes before nor have I even seen a potato plant growing

I'm trying the straw method for two reasons.

1 it sounds like a good way to do it from all I have read
and
2 I currently have more beds than dirt and this solves my problem

The dedicated bed is stuck out of the way in the currently being renovated boxwood garden; it is 2x8' and made from 1x8s.  I put about 4 or 5 inches of Mel's mix in a while back and tonight I measured off and plopped the tater pieces in.

The far end of the bed is purple viking and the close half is German butterball.   


 
The straw added; I'll put some sort of retention up around the bamboo stakes on the corners for more consistent coverage - from what I have read a second layer of straw is added after the plants grow through the first layer.  BTW the first layer settled down a good bit when I watered it.




More in the end of one of the new beds





And some in last year's beds



tbc.......

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #183 on: March 30, 2010, 07:55:12 PM »
The 3 sections of last year's beds that got potatoes left me with some work to do.  There aren't any sides to contain the straw and it would spill into the next squares if I piled enough on to keep the light off of the tubers in a couple months.  Same issue with hilling up although i could build a second story to contain the dirt like the carrot section has.

So I figured I would use some of the bamboo and left over plastic fencing to build "potato straw baskets" to hold it all together.... I strung 3 of these together tonight, one of the others is visible in the background.



Still some shoring up to do but I think this will work and it has the Mrs C seal of approval....  


While I was playing with the bamboo I built a cat-guard frame for the freshly hatched lettuce and spinach that was under the shade cloth.  I have learned that the cats around here hate the nearly invisible birt netting and stay away once the run into it once or twice.   cat crap and greens don't go together ;)

« Last Edit: March 30, 2010, 08:01:32 PM by cohutt »

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #184 on: March 30, 2010, 08:39:01 PM »
   cat crap and greens don't go together ;)

... words to live by... Great looking setup, Cohutt!

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #185 on: March 31, 2010, 04:46:41 AM »
Cohutt, how long do you think you'd have to let it dry out so that it would "de-activate"?  Just wondering....I have some arundo(sp?) - not really like bamboo - that I cut and use, and it always makes me think that I should get some bamboo for lots of potential uses - homemade trellises, pea sticks, etc.  I need to do some research on what types will grow in Ohio though.  Homestead is lookin' good.


JG, from what I have read true bamboo doesn't root and  grow from cuttings; with the reputation some running bamboos have for taking over I was joking about it rooting...

Most all the propagating info I see involves getting a rootball with a couple of the stalks in it and transplanting.  Running bamboo has to have the pesky underground lateral rhizomes to root and take hold.

Offline Crispy Critter

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #186 on: March 31, 2010, 09:51:52 AM »

I really like some of your engineered solutions, Cohutt. I'm getting the urge to offer my bamboo-clearing services to a neighbor after seeing your clever contraptions.

Meanwhile, back at the pyramid... 
I couldn't help but laugh out loud when I read that. It immediately conjured up a mental image of Cohutt standing at the edge of an Egyptian pavillion, admiring the pyramid being built in honor of the lowly strawberry.... Well, you get the idea. Funny how word combinations can sometimes create completely unrelated mental imagery.


Crispy Critter and the whole gang, have you found many other ways to create a windbreak for your garden? I only have a small 4x4 and 4x2 gardens one is the gf's with just decorative flowers, we live in Vegas which is just a huge valley and the wind tears through our backyard, any suggestions? FYI, I rent so whatever I do must be reversible if needed.
Thanks

Nimzy, I started a thread just now in hopes that we can gather some good, affordable ideas for windbreaks. Here's a link to that thread which includes two pics of my temporary solution which is ugly, but gets the job done (for the time being...always looking for a better way!).  http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=15855.0




Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #187 on: April 04, 2010, 08:48:39 PM »
I did a lot of the last few days both in a final push to be ready for the season as well as to host family for Easter today.

I'll report late this week with pics; besides cleaning my yard of all the fence removal and construction debris the following progress was made:
Installed the two "pole bean" beds
went on another bamboo raid (see below)
built (or should I say overbuilt) a bamboo trellis frame for the beans
built and filled a "custom" bed curving around the stump from the beech tree I removed last fall.  This area was too good to not use this summer- it gets great sun and the area is where I composted leaves for the last 20 years
discovered crickets and other vermin had moved in under the straw in 3 of my potato beds and were enjoying themselves; I removed the straw and buried the seed potatoes.  Once they sprout I'll add straw a little at a time.  (or not, I have some research to do)

latest bamboo haul against  8' high fence:



The seedlings at the end of an afternoon sunbath:




Offline digitalartranch

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #188 on: April 05, 2010, 05:56:22 AM »
Dang C, everything is looking great.  I really like the strawberry pyramid.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #189 on: April 06, 2010, 08:22:30 PM »
Thanks for the kind comments CC and AK- much appreciated.


The bean beds.   I wanted to max the production from a small space so I needed to go vertical. To keep shade from hitting other plants decided to build 2 little beds (2x8') and put them relatively close together. Once i picked a spot I watched the sun angles and path for a couple of days with some of the bamboo stuck in the ground for shadow tracking.  
I decided that the beds shouldn't be oriented north south or east-west under the circumstances; they are further over towards the tree canopy from my neighbor's yard and the eastern sun is pretty much blocked out all morning. ( In the pictures below you can see how they are off kilter with the north-south running asparagus bed. )

I raked back the woodchip mulch and then roughly busted  the soil below with a maddock.  I was surprised how good the soil looked- it was definitely clay based like everything around here but years of leaves and other organic matter decomposing had it a dark brown almost black color vs the normal red. There were more earthworms in that dirt that I have ever seen anywhere on my property including under my compost piles. I guess they were there before the chips and have gone crazy on the new food source.

Lining them up parallel to the back fence:



One in and the turned soil smoothed back out (mel's mix going over it with no carboard).




Trellis is next

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #190 on: April 06, 2010, 08:42:26 PM »
At first i figured I would basically put two "V"s at the ends of each bed and pull trellis netting between them.  But noooooooooooooo, I decided I would improve on that idea and maximize production from a smaller space, so i decided to put the beds a little closer and turn the Vs one the beds into "W"s by connecting them at the top between the beds.  I cut some spare 2" pvc conduit and screwed two pieces to the end of each bed using a single screw about 1" below the top edge of the bed.  (Lol, I did this so that the conduit could pivot to suit the needs of the "fluid" trellis design that was going on. )

By the time I was done I had a massive bamboo 'thing" that used 6 9', 4 8' sections, and 4 5' sections of bamboo.

 Here is the "rough in" (stick with me it will hopefully make more sense down the page a bit):

 




After I shored up the joints using baling wire and then cross braced the panels with paracord, the plan was to string trellis metting from each top cross section down into the beds.  This wasn't easy and I learned a few things as I went, one of them I recalled from helping a friend string field fence up one time.  It is easier to stretch and align if you put a board through a few of the end squares to pull evenly:     




Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #191 on: April 06, 2010, 08:52:52 PM »
OK, so i figured 60' of 5' wide netting would work, but discovered that it would be about 4 or 5 feet short.

Still, you can get a pretty good idea of the almost completed end product below (I am going to finish the trellis when i get another secton of netting and will tie it all down better.)

A couple of notes:

The "W" isn't symmetrical and this is by design.  I wanted the two panes that leaned towards the back fence to be further off of 90 degrees than the other two.  I can't really explain except that by watching shadows as the sun tracked I figured this would give more uniform sun coverage, especially late in the season when the sun is lower and the trellises are full of shade making bean leaves.
Also, I will tie the bottom of the trellis down to have it uniformly convenient to the surface of the soil for the young bean plants to catch and start climbing upon.

It is pretty square when looking at it from the house so Mrs C approves.






Offline Sweethearts Mom

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #192 on: April 06, 2010, 09:27:04 PM »
This is freaking brilliant!!! Where the heck do you come up with these ideas???? And is that a cast iron bed? What are you going to do with that? Because I was just given one.

Offline johngalt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #193 on: April 06, 2010, 09:44:31 PM »
Lookin good Cohutt.  I like the idea of making the trellis angle out... it might help out with getting at the stuff in the middle.  Last year I made a folding a frame trellis 10' long, and thought is was the best idea ever...until I couldn't reach anything on the inside past about four feet.  This year I'm cutting and welding to make sure they are only four feet wide, and splitting the climbing items to 1 half of the bed.  It did work well, and was easily folded up and put away however.  This year I'll have two that are 4' wide x 5' tall.

Offline JustinChase

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #194 on: April 06, 2010, 11:01:30 PM »
Now there's a nice mix of engineering and art for ya, looks great!

I really hope it works anywhere near as good as it looks.  I'm sure we'll see the progress, and for that I thank you.

This thread (and last years) have made me want to post my own progress.  I've started looking and have over 100 photos of what I've done over the last 2 years in the dog run, garden area  :o  I'm trying to whittle them down, and write short explanations for guidance.  Maybe I'll post the beginnings of that this week and we can compare notes.  I certainly have a lot to learn, but it's been pretty fun and rewarding so far.  I know you know this, and I bet it drives you too.

Keep up the good work and let us know how your (soon to be ) new CSA project comes along  ;)  With all that produce, you're gonna have surplus I bet.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #195 on: April 07, 2010, 04:25:35 AM »
:)

Sweethearts mom,
Good eye. what you see is actually two iron gates that I plan on incorporating somewhere in the garden as a trellis or screen.  At one point though we used them as a headboard on a bed and that's why they are painted white; will be repainted soon.

Johngalt,
the theory is that a lot of the picking can be done from underneath the trellis.  However, you have just pointed out an accidentally engineered feature that will probably come in handy for picking them from the top as well.   

justinchase you hit the nail on the head.  documenting it encourages progress and keeps it going.  As far as a lot to learn, there is no time like now to start.   Remember this project won't be a year old until June so it isn't like I'm some master gardener or anything.

Offline Sweethearts Mom

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #196 on: April 07, 2010, 09:20:27 PM »
Hmmmm Those angled trellis seem just the right hight for grand boys to harvest under!

Offline JustinChase

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #197 on: April 07, 2010, 10:21:50 PM »
Cohutt, I was just looking at your trellis again and trying to figure out the orientation of that in your yard and noticed how well the tall fence blocks out the view of the buildings behind you.  I bet that makes you and the Mrs happy :)

I also noticed that the boards are not dog eared, which makes me think you may have bought stock 1 x 6's and not fence boards, or perhaps they just sell them different where you are.  I don't remember seeing other than a passing mention of them in your 2 big threads, can you tell me what you used, and how tall that fence actually is?

thanks

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #198 on: April 08, 2010, 04:26:19 AM »
SHM-

Or for 50 year old gardeners to harvest sitting on a stool in the shade…..

justinchase-
The boards are treated 1x6 pine I got at a local building supply run by a friend.  They had 8' and 12' which served me well; the 8' worked for most of the tall sections of fence, the 12' I cut in half for the 6' section.

How high depends on where you are standing.   I decided I wanted to have a level top on the fence in both places where the ground has a modest slope to it on the line.; this vs having a constant board height that sloped or stepped down with the grade.

In the back, the side alley fence is 6' @ the corner.  I went low on this since the view is less important back there and the shorter fence blocks less late afternoon sun.  You can see below the back fence is almost 10' or so at the same corner. The ground falls  off to the corner pretty fast but there is a pretty modest slope along the rest of the back line too, so at the other corner the fence is only 7' or so from the ground.



« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 04:52:46 PM by cohutt »

Offline trucker larry

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #199 on: April 08, 2010, 02:13:25 PM »
Cohutt, I am really looking forward to the "Cohutt stores food" thread.  ;D   I am sure that is gonna be a fair amount of food at harvest time.

Offline outdoorlady79

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #200 on: April 09, 2010, 07:42:19 AM »
Cohutt, I am really looking forward to the "Cohutt stores food" thread.  ;D   I am sure that is gonna be a fair amount of food at harvest time.

Sounds like a fun/inspiring thread to me  :)

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #201 on: April 09, 2010, 12:03:21 PM »
lol this year ahasn't produced much of anything (yet).

My lovely spouse isn't planning on us canning. 

ha.

ha ha.


hahahahahahahhaha.....  sorry

Offline outdoorlady79

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #202 on: April 09, 2010, 09:31:44 PM »
lol this year ahasn't produced much of anything (yet).

My lovely spouse isn't planning on us canning. 

ha.

ha ha.


hahahahahahahhaha.....  sorry

Key words there "isn't planning on us canning."   Something tells me there is gonna be some canning or dehydrating or something will going on this year in the Cohutt household or the compost pile will be getting lots of veggies that could be stored.

Offline KYdoomer

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #203 on: April 10, 2010, 06:39:23 AM »
Those are some intensively planted potatoes--love it!  I can't wait to see that jungle when it grows. 

At least if your wife doesn't plan on canning you are planting something that will store well while she changes her mind!

J


Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #204 on: April 10, 2010, 07:04:04 AM »
Those are some intensively planted potatoes--love it!  I can't wait to see that jungle when it grows. 

At least if your wife doesn't plan on canning you are planting something that will store well while she changes her mind!

J




LOL, KYD you are observant and have busted me....
 
I have never done spuds before but came to the same conclusion after the dilemma of where to put them all- just 2 1/2 lbs of 3 types.  Mel of SFG all but says put them on top of each other, basically the same as with everything else in SFG compared to traditional row planting/spacing.

What I neglected to consider is how many usable pieces I would get from each 2 1/2 lbs.  The purple viking order came to 3 huge spuds.  The German Butterball was maybe 12 or 4 and the French Fingerling was even more than that.  Cut a couple of the small ones in half and you end up with 25 or 30 seed pieces.....You get the picture lol.

In the end I stole one of my 3 2x8' bean beds and called it a potato bed.   I decided to go almost as close as Mel suggested; from what I have read, the downside is I have smaller potatoes on average.  I think I can live with this as we will probably raid new potatoes out of the straw from the day we find them until the final harvest.

As with everything else I am trying,  I will take notes and adjust next time...

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #205 on: April 10, 2010, 08:33:35 PM »
Tomatoes go in tommorrow.

I started the seed on 2/21; most of the plants have been re-potted twice. 

I learned something in my first seed starting endeavor.  Once the plants get started the window shelf i installed in my sunroom gets a boatload of sun.  Roma vf plants that are a stout and stable 17" tall 6 or 7 weeks after sowing will go in tommorrow.

Also -
Ground cherries
Basil
dill
cilatro
marigolds
sunflowers

\

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #206 on: April 11, 2010, 07:49:43 PM »
I got distracted today and didn't get much in the ground.   

I'm finally finishing off the back left corner of the fence; I'm building a storage area where I can stick stuff that doesn't need a roof over it.  The idea is to have it match the back fence and laid out so that you can't see into it form 90% of the yard (or from the house).  Anyway, post holes, concrete etc again...

I almost did a "Fritz Monroe" on the Romas I was bragging yesterday about being so stout.  On the way out to the patio for some sun this morning I snapped a  shot of them with a 24" framing square behind them (not a level shot but you get the idea).



Anyway, I got all the flats in the sheltered corner of the patio and went back to work on sinking the posts.  When I came back up about 90 minutes later the flat of romas pictured above was flat & wilted so badly I thought they were toast.  I moved them up to the shade and watered them; by late this afternoon they had reconstituted themselves pretty well.  Since I stressed them pretty badly I figured I'd put off getting them in the ground for a couple more days.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #207 on: April 11, 2010, 08:10:19 PM »
I did set out my ground cherries (Aunt Mollie's) in the oddball bed I stuck in a couple weeks ago.  It has wood ends but I used some of the flexible plastic roof decking that I ripped and had been using as edging. 

This bed came about when I loaded up the last of my compost pile and moved it to the back as part of the cleanup Mrs C had me do before her family visited for Easter.  After I moved it I decided to build the bed over the spot and start doing something about the low spot that gets so soggy when it rains.

I trenched the area and ran a pipe under the garden shed to the alley and sunk another piece of the edging to divert water away from the Blueberry bush that sits in the lowest spot.  I figured I'd have problems with it eventually if I didn't do something to divert and drain the water.

So here is the bed with the ground cherries ready to be planted;  I read that you can bury them deep like with tomatoes so put them as deep as I could.  (Forgot to take an after picture).




Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #208 on: April 12, 2010, 06:05:27 AM »
Quote
I almost did a "Fritz Monroe" on the Romas
So glad that I've become a verb.   ;D

How did you manage to plant the ground cherries deep?  Mine are always spreading and not getting tall, so I don't have much of a stem to plant deep.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2
« Reply #209 on: April 12, 2010, 11:35:18 AM »
So glad that I've become a verb.   ;D

How did you manage to plant the ground cherries deep?  Mine are always spreading and not getting tall, so I don't have much of a stem to plant deep.

Be glad your verb isn't like mine; cohutt became a verb in a couple of reloading forums after I burned the bizzzicky out of my foot smelting a while back.......

As far as the ground cherries- the aunt Mollie's i got from SSE all grew up in a single long stalk and didn't start branching until recently.  In the the second photo above only the top left and right corner plants are ground cherries. I was able to put them fairly deep, from 4-6" I would guestimate.
iirc you had cossack pineapples and not aunt mollie's- right?