Author Topic: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)  (Read 105121 times)

Offline cohutt

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Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« on: January 09, 2011, 07:01:14 AM »
It is 2011 and a new garden season is approaching.  I have some layout changes and bed additions in the works for this year as well as a new seed starting scheme.  I'll post about these projects as they get underway but in the meantime I have two 2010 holdover items to update.

First, regarding the pepper plants I potted up and brought in: 

The pimento and jalapeno plants have continued to grow out the peppers from the flowers set when I brought them in almost 3 months ago.  There have been no new flowers given the short sunlight window; still, there was enough energy to provide the bowl full of jalapenos I picked yesterday (Jan 8.) 

These were turned into unlikely fresh winter poppers:



Second, regarding the low tunnel / hoop-house experiment:

All in all the greens in the primary "covered wagon" style covered bed are doing well.  Growth is slow due to the short days and cool soil as well as the fact that this bed runs north to south.  The bed should run east to west in order to get the best bang for your winter sun buck; I will be addressing this with a new bed or two and possibly a permanent greenhouse structure by next winter.

Anyway- here is a shot a dusk a couple days ago.  Lettuce, chard, chinese kale, radishes and a couple of broccoli plants (post harvest) occupy the bed.  None seem to be suffering; if the temp is forecast to go much below 30 I turn on a 300 watt shop light shining into one of the gallon jugs of water.  This has been sufficient to warm the whole bed on niights as low as 13 degrees so far.... 




I'm looking forward to getting started on the 2011 season and as before will provide more updates than anyone really cares to see. 8)
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 05:49:27 AM by cohutt »

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2011, 11:03:41 AM »
Cool to see your progress still going on.  I'll start my 2011 thread once I have something to post.  Ground is all frozen right now, but I'll get to work on the additional beds in a month or so.  And I can start some seeds at the end of the month.

Offline Greywolf27

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2011, 11:16:04 AM »
You guys are amazing!!!

So motivating to get me off my arse.  I will now have two projects to document.  I will see about getting them posted in the next week or two with the details and progress.  Amazing that we are starting another season already.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2011, 11:53:25 AM »
Yeah it sort of is slipping up on me; fortunately my work this winter is a lot less than what i was humping to get finished last winter (ie no fence projects lol).

The bigger part of work is going to be relocating about 30 boxwoods within the backyard. I'm moving all the common (American) ones out of the old formal garden area and then realigning the English boxwoods within the garden.  These are huge old bushes I pruned back hard last spring in preparation for this.  The end product is the larger common boxwoods will form a screen against my neighbor's ugly shaded border and the interior garden area will open up significantly for beds and possibly a greenhouse.

 I've been out root pruning them lately to get them ready to move in a few weeks.   If anyone is bored towards the end of Feb you are welcome to come help me.  8)

Offline Greywolf27

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2011, 12:23:44 PM »
I would love to stop by for an ole barn raising... wrong coast though :(

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2011, 08:12:39 PM »
From under the hoops this week:







(I spent all weekend moving bushes and digging holes as the calendar is sneaking up on me again.  )


Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 07:39:46 PM »
Getting ready for seed starting, I've been testing out my two new high output CFLs on the wintering peppers and some potted indoor lettuce.  Insanely bright @ 125w each and adequate to cover at least a 3x3 square of seedlings.



You can also see the overkill sized jumbo seed warming mat I picked up recently - I unrolled it to let it flatten out a bit before I get it set up in my upstairs bath tub (my seed starting spot of choice this year....)

Offline Roswell

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 09:34:25 AM »
You can also see the overkill sized jumbo seed warming mat I picked up recently - I unrolled it to let it flatten out a bit before I get it set up in my upstairs bath tub (my seed starting spot of choice this year....)

I imagine Mrs. Cohutt is just thrilled.   :D :D :D

What type of seed warming mat did you get?  That is one thing I am looking at now.  Either a warming mat, an electric blanket or I may put my seedlings in a metal pan with a shoplight underneath.  Trying to figure out what is most economical and gives the best results.  My father-in-law has used the shop light method for years with good results.  Anyway, I need to do something as I am using my garage to start seeds in and it gets quite cold.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2011, 06:22:58 PM »
mrs C is cool with it, only the cat sees the upstairs bath tub and it keeps the sun room from completely cluttering to hell

I picked this one up right after christmas on sale.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002LVU4YI/ref=oss_product

More than I need maybe.

Last year i did all sorts of things to try and keep the soil warm consistently with mixed results.   Too much juggling around and hassling to start as much as i did.

Offline Roswell

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2011, 09:34:54 PM »
mrs C is cool with it, only the cat sees the upstairs bath tub and it keeps the sun room from completely cluttering to hell

I picked this one up right after christmas on sale.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002LVU4YI/ref=oss_product

More than I need maybe.

Last year i did all sorts of things to try and keep the soil warm consistently with mixed results.   Too much juggling around and hassling to start as much as i did.

Thanks for the link Cohutt.  It gives me a good frame of reference.  I'm going to go to home depot tomorrow and see if they have anything comparable.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2011, 04:18:51 AM »
I'd be surprised if they have any at all; i was by the one here to see if they were putting anything up for the spring and didn't see anything that remotely looked like a warming mat.

Update:

The tub idea is out.  LOL i didn't measure anything sirst and the warming pad is too big, the seed trays too long.

So the sun room will be the clutterfest again, starting with this tray of broccoli and chinese kale 



Offline Roswell

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2011, 07:01:36 AM »
I'd be surprised if they have any at all; i was by the one here to see if they were putting anything up for the spring and didn't see anything that remotely looked like a warming mat.

Update:

The tub idea is out.  LOL i didn't measure anything sirst and the warming pad is too big, the seed trays too long.

So the sun room will be the clutterfest again, starting with this tray of broccoli and chinese kale 




You are probably right about that.  I have two I am going to try just in case.

Looks like you have been using the soil cube.  I can't wait to try mine out this planting season.

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2011, 12:51:25 PM »
Newb question.... but do you keep the lights on 24 hours a day?

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2011, 04:55:31 PM »
Don't know about Cohutt, but my grow light system is plugged into a timer that turns them on for 17 hours a day. 

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2011, 05:30:07 PM »
same here.
mat is one 24. timer for the lights

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2011, 05:47:53 PM »
Scavenged tonight in the back yard
1 small cauliflower head
a dozen spindly broc shoots from the zombie looking headless broc plants
1 small chinese kale plant
maybe 10 brussel sprout leaves
a couple garlic leaves, a couple shallot leaves
part of a small pepper harvested from the sun room pepper plants a few days ago
1 fresh whole habanero from the sunroom

2 little carrots
chopped it up, added some some onion, minced some garlic (from the store :( )

a cohutt stir fry sauce was concocted from the pantry and fridge, the psuedo wok was heated and 10 minutes later we were eating a tasty, vibrantly colored vegi treat.

Mrs cohutt has said a half dozen times in the last hour about how mind blowing it is that i could wander around the pretty much dormant garden in the dead of winter and come back in with enough stuff to make a delicious stir fry on the fly.  

Offline nimzy88

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2011, 02:58:33 PM »
What kind of soil cubes are you guys using for seed starting, this there a specific brand or just any thing labeled as a soil cube on amazon or at a local nursery.
Thanks excited for the new year and new beginnings in the garden

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2011, 06:32:04 PM »
What kind of soil cubes are you guys using for seed starting, this there a specific brand or just any thing labeled as a soil cube on amazon or at a local nursery.
Thanks excited for the new year and new beginnings in the garden


http://cohutt.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/soil-cube-garden-tool-of-the-day/


Offline nimzy88

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2011, 12:40:18 AM »
Thanks

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2011, 09:29:10 PM »
Seed setup is taking shape... 




And here in Feb I'm scavenging everything to eat but the dirt from the dead low point of garden production for the whole year.   

And it isn't bad either:




Offline joeinwv

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2011, 09:44:51 PM »
Nice work as usual. It has been 9*F the past 2 nights here and has not gotten above 20*F during the day for some time. Our projected last frost date is April 25, but I will be started well ahead of that. I am hoping to be able to tent the beds and get them above freezing around the end of the month. Should have peas, choi and beans in early March. Hopefully my garlic and strawberries are sleeping and waiting.


Offline CookingtoSurvive

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2011, 07:48:26 PM »
The stir-fry looks great Cohutt. I tis really amazing you pulled enough from your garden during the dead of winter. Can't wait to see the updates on the garden this year.

Offline Tactical Hippie

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2011, 08:27:33 PM »
Cohut your skills amaze me.

Ok I got a question for you.   Me and my wife are putting out our first big garden this year.  I’m in the process of building a small greenhouse to start my seeds in.  Here is a link to my greenhouse project post so you can see what I’m talking about.
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=24878.msg274163#msg274163


My question is two fold I suppose.  

First should I start my seeds indoors and then transplant them to the greenhouse.  I have a large basement and would have no problem buying grow lights to start the seeds. It stays about 55 to 60 degrees in the basement all the time.
 We live in North Alabama and the temperature outside is still cold but not like it is in the North.

I guessing from what I’ve read on your post I need to find an electric warming pad or such for the seeds?

Also, I have not put the plastic on my PVC greenhouse yet.  I can’t seem to find any translucent .6mil plastic.  Everything I’ve found in the size and thickness is sorta a light tan.  So do you have any plastic recommendations for the greenhouse?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks,
    
                                                                    TacHipp


Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2011, 04:37:47 AM »
Thanks guys-

TH-

The warmth provided by the mat makes for much more consistent germination.  The lights really don't come into play until the little leaves open and start looking to absorb energy from above.

I got mine online through amazon - i have seen small ones in the big box stores lately as part of a small germination kit (tray, peat pellets, dome etc).  The big one is nice i guess but a smaller one would do in a pinch- (once most seeds have germinated move off under the lights and put the next tray on ?)

The plastic I am using for my winter tunnels is just contractors plastic (4 mil i think) from Home Depot. It is milky white, definitely not clear.  This works in a pinch but 1) it doesn't last long and becomes brittle after a few months of UV exposure and 2) the % of sun that transmits isn't the greatest.  It was the material of choice this winter for experimentation purposes; next year I'll order some of the greenhouse poly that is UV durable and has higher light transmission properties.  Examples are here: http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/category/plastic-greenhouse-film

Your pvc frame is a step ahead of me; I considered it last fall but decided to cover a couple beds and "study the situation" (ie delay a real structure for another season until mrs cohutt had a modest taste of Jan and Feb harvest and bought in to the idea lol)

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2011, 07:49:45 PM »
Taste of spring this last few days in N GA

Winter lettuce and friends came out to play in the sunshine










Offline Tactical Hippie

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2011, 08:30:11 PM »
Thanks guys-

TH-

The warmth provided by the mat makes for much more consistent germination.  The lights really don't come into play until the little leaves open and start looking to absorb energy from above.

I got mine online through amazon - i have seen small ones in the big box stores lately as part of a small germination kit (tray, peat pellets, dome etc).  The big one is nice i guess but a smaller one would do in a pinch- (once most seeds have germinated move off under the lights and put the next tray on ?)

The plastic I am using for my winter tunnels is just contractors plastic (4 mil i think) from Home Depot. It is milky white, definitely not clear.  This works in a pinch but 1) it doesn't last long and becomes brittle after a few months of UV exposure and 2) the % of sun that transmits isn't the greatest.  It was the material of choice this winter for experimentation purposes; next year I'll order some of the greenhouse poly that is UV durable and has higher light transmission properties.  Examples are here: http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/category/plastic-greenhouse-film

Your pvc frame is a step ahead of me; I considered it last fall but decided to cover a couple beds and "study the situation" (ie delay a real structure for another season until mrs cohutt had a modest taste of Jan and Feb harvest and bought in to the idea lol)


Cohutt thanks for the advise.  Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. 

I found some seed warmers at the local Home Depot.  They actually came with one of those little 72 peat pellet greenhouses.  They are quite small but I bought 2. 
That’s not quite big enough for what I want but I’m thinking I got a idea.

For the rest of my seeds I have one of those plastic fold out tables, 2’ x 6’.  The table will have plastic draped over it’s entire length going all the way to the floor.  Under that I’m gonna place a thermostatic controlled radiator heater.  They are safe with no exposed elements or flame, and on low I’m hoping I can keep the table top around 70 degrees.  I will let you know if this works but I’m thinking it should!

As far as plastic I went with a 3.5 mil plastic I bought at lowes.  It is a little more translucent that the thicker stuff as well as considerably cheaper.  However I know I’m gonna probably have to replace it at the end of the season.  For about $25 I’m ok with that.  I will eventually buy some of the greenhouse plastic….as budget affords!  Again thanks for the advise!

TacHipp

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2011, 08:36:34 PM »
TH, last year I used an old heating pad from the drug store and a Delonghi electric radiator under a table.  It sufficed

Offline Tactical Hippie

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2011, 09:12:52 PM »
TH, last year I used an old heating pad from the drug store and a Delonghi electric radiator under a table.  It sufficed

Ha....Delonghi is the brand I have...lol.  A couple of years back our Central Heat went out in the middle of winter.  The HVAC guy was like 3 days out to replace the unit and I went and bought 5 or 6 of those heater and they have graced my garage ever since unused! 

You answered my question of "will this work?"   ;)

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2011, 04:54:49 AM »
Did some gourd prep last weekend for birdhouses; here are some drying after a coating of sealer....


Offline Roswell

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Re: Cohutt's Garden Chapter 3 (2011)
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2011, 07:51:31 AM »
I'm curious.  Why are some brown and some white?