Author Topic: MSP's garden 2014  (Read 30259 times)

d3nni5

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MSP's garden 2014
« on: April 27, 2014, 05:05:37 PM »
It has been a long time coming getting my garden back into shape.   In both 2010 and 2011, I had a great garden....tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers.   You know, the usual stuff.  Two years ago my ex bought a pool.   The leveling of the yard to take it to a flat grade produced a lot of extra soil we decided to put on my garden area.   

So, in 2012, my focus was on building a deck around the pool, vacations, and so on.   I never put my garden in.  What was once a nice little spot in the yard, was now a big pile of dirt and rocks.   

In 2013, my father became very sick, and early spring was all about making him comfortable in his last days.    Shortly after he passed, my relationship hit the rocks....gardening was not high on the priority list.

This year, I've a new found drive to get things going again.   Posting some pics soon.


d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2014, 05:18:36 PM »


I started my weekend planting nine blueberry bushes.   Thanks to Cedar on her advice.  I found 4 varieties...Northcrop(?), Elliot, Earliblue and Bluecrop.   I spaced them out so no two varieties were next to one another.  This fit perfect between the driveway and the fence in the back yard.   A space that previously just was a pain to mow and trim.


d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2014, 05:25:19 PM »
Today I finished prepping the garden space.   It is about 25' x 16'.    I wish I had some "before" pics to show you.   This mountain of hard clay soil.

I built the retaining wall, which really ends up making it more like a big raised bed I think.  I shoveled, and moved more softball sized rocks than I can count.   I tilled twice.   Once to get it broken up,   Then again after I got some manure, peet and compost mixed in.

I'm really happy with how this ended up looking.    If I do this right, I doubt I'll have to till again.   Not that I'm "anti-tiller" like a lot of folks....But just think as I get this soil improving, a good fork and spade will be all I need.






« Last Edit: April 27, 2014, 05:56:19 PM by Mountain State Prepper »

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2014, 05:29:17 PM »

Finally, after all that work....I got some pots going with herbs.   I have a variety of basil, cilantro, oregano, chives, and spring onions in these containers.    I figure I will build out a shelf on the retaining wall posts (above) and set these along the edge so as I water I can get these wet too.


Offline Herew

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2014, 05:40:17 PM »
It looks like you've done a lot of work! Good job! Do you have any concerns of erosion? It looks like some soil is already spilling out by the retaining wall on the up-hill side.

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2014, 05:41:53 PM »
Almost forgot.   I put in about 2 dozen (maybe more, didn't count) white onion sets.   A lot of folks around here already have thiers in.    I love onions, so i doubt these will get huge...I'll have them dug up and on my plate before they fully mature.


d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2014, 05:48:53 PM »
It looks like you've done a lot of work! Good job! Do you have any concerns of erosion? It looks like some soil is already spilling out by the retaining wall on the up-hill side.

I am concerned.   Most of the overspill you see here is from me working it smooth.   I have the posts 2-3 feet in the ground, and then set with concrete.   I hope it will hold.   The really wet, rainy season isn't here yet.   Crossing my fingers it holds.  I'll just have to figure out the weaknesses and adjust as problems arise.

Thanks for the reply, appreciate it.   I have been busting my butt.  I'm not in the best of shape after this winter, and it has been putting my back to the test!

Offline Cedar

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2014, 05:57:58 PM »
That looks awesome!!! Glad I could help on the blueberries.

On your terrace there,.. and the spillover.. you might consider rock, urbanite, something heavy there, even 2 foot more over and as high as your second board to keep the weight of all that soil back.. and planting something edible in there.. and maybe a lavender or something on the corner to help keep that soil in place.

+1 for all your hard work.

Cedar

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2014, 06:19:59 PM »
That looks awesome!!! Glad I could help on the blueberries.

On your terrace there,.. and the spillover.. you might consider rock, urbanite, something heavy there, even 2 foot more over and as high as your second board to keep the weight of all that soil back.. and planting something edible in there.. and maybe a lavender or something on the corner to help keep that soil in place.

+1 for all your hard work.

Cedar


Thanks again Cedar.   I'll keep working on that end and see what I can do.   Been thinking about it all day as I worked in the peet and compost.   That corner is just really steep.    That whole part of the yard was a mess until this weekend when I finally dug in.   

I'll look into planting something that will creep up that slope and hold in the dirt.

Offline Cedar

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2014, 07:04:01 PM »
You can also go back in like 5 feet or so on the 'entrance side' and have 2-3 boards on that side too... and I think you can get away with one post. I can see the side hill part sloughing off with the weight in not too long of a time, which is why I think it might be wise to make a second terrace to hold the weight of the upper one back.

Not to this extreme, but maybe it will kinda show you what I mean, since I have a stupid computer and I cannot use any paint programs on this one (but Z decided I really DO have a stupid computer and I am getting a different one for doing this kind of stuff on, not my work computer).



Cedar

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2014, 07:40:11 PM »
Nice work on prepping for your garden ! And, great to put an awkward space to good use with the blueberries

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2014, 10:43:09 AM »

OK, another group of pics.   Since the garden is pretty much prepped to plant, I focused on my front yard.   I bought too many flowers, not realizing how many I needed.   So I ended up planting over 480 so far....petunias, begonias and marigolds of all flavors.














d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2014, 06:12:20 PM »


Today I got in the rest of the garden.   I planted zucchini, sugar snap peas, blue lake's, "big boy" tomatoes, "bell boy" green peppers, habanero peppers, and red cabbage.

I also planted some juliet grape tomatoes in  containers.  These pics make it hard to tell how much went in, but I feel I got the the most out of my 300 sq feet.  We'll see...

P.S. ---After several days of soaking rains the last month, no erosion to speak of.  Still keeping an eye on it.







Offline Cedar

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2014, 07:04:33 PM »
So I ended up planting over 480 so far....petunias, begonias and marigolds of all flavors.

LOL --- you and my mom. She does that alot. It will look even more lovely here in about 4 weeks time. How did you get the flowers to stick in the vertical lattice? There must be a pot or something behind it?

Cedar

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2014, 07:28:27 PM »
LOL --- you and my mom. She does that alot. It will look even more lovely here in about 4 weeks time. How did you get the flowers to stick in the vertical lattice? There must be a pot or something behind it?

Cedar

It is a lattice frame with plastic sheeting behind it. Then filled it with potting soil.  I cut an 'X' in each hole, hollowed out a little and shoved in a petunia.

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2014, 05:22:14 PM »
Two weeks in and the garden is looking good.   Here are a few pics...

First the flowers....they are popping!    I'm very happy with my vertical lattice experiment.  I'll build a few more of these next year.  Petunias are perfect for this.



Front yard beds are filling out nicely too.



I actually got some blueberries!   Didn't think I'd get any my first year, its not much, but will make a nice snack later this year.   I have to weed this area far too much.   Going to put down some landscape fabric to control it better.





Beans and snow peas sprouted pretty quickly.   Look healthy, not sure if I need to thin these out?




Potted tomatoes (Juliet Hybrid) are growing fast too.



And the basil and cilantro are coming along nicely.






That's all for now.

Offline MIZZOU_RAH

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2014, 07:22:06 AM »
Looking good! I wouldn't worry about thinning the beans. I planted mine closer together than that even last year and they produced just fine. I had quite a dense "thicket" of bean plants to pick through, but I didn't see any downside other than that!

Offline NCFreedom

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2014, 01:11:01 PM »
looking good!

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2014, 08:36:35 PM »


When (and how) do I start plucking these basil leaves?   If I do it right, won't I have basil all summer?


d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2014, 09:08:06 PM »
My habenero's are not growing as fast as other things.   I'm thinking peppers in general grow slower, because my bell peppers are also slowing coming along.



Zucchini look good, growing fast.



I started to train the peas to the lattice netting.



Beans also growing every day.



Offline bigbear

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2014, 07:31:27 AM »
Awesome vertical lattice!  It's beautiful.  (Note to self:  don't show my wife this thread until I'm ready to do the work...) 

Yes, peppers grow slower, especially compared to tomatoes.  My peppers are about 1/2 to 1/3 the size of my tomato at this point (in southern PA).

As for thinning the beans, one downside is not seeing or picking beans because of the thickness.  The less you miss on each plant, the more that plant produces. 

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2014, 08:06:22 AM »
How did you train your peas to the netting? Mine are having a hard time finding the lattice I planted them near.

In my experience with peppers, they either stunt early and barely produce, or they go crazy (either way yes, they do grow quite slow compared to other plants). I've had better luck with hot peppers than bell peppers, but my two California Wonders are doing pretty well so far, maybe I'll actually get some good ones this year.

As far as basil goes, you can probably start harvesting it now. Always chop off the top 1-3 sets of leaves and let it regrow a bit before harvesting again.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 08:16:06 AM by AvenueQ »

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2014, 08:44:56 AM »
Awesome vertical lattice!  It's beautiful.  (Note to self:  don't show my wife this thread until I'm ready to do the work...) 


Thanks, it wasn't too hard.   I plan on making a couple more.  I'll document what I did and post.   All it is really is a simple frame with lattice screwed to the outside.   Line the lattice with some black plastic before attaching.   Pour in the soil.   When you are ready to plant, score each hole w/ an "X" and shove in a petunia.


How did you train your peas to the netting?

I actually waited until they were flopping over before I pushed them under the first net string.   They had started to intangle each other, but i gently pulled them apart a little, and tucked each one under the net.


d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2014, 11:57:35 AM »


I got grape tomatoes coming in!



and zucchini blossoms


endurance

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2014, 05:31:08 PM »
Looking good.  I love making slopes into growing spaces with terraces.  Of course if I didn't, I wouldn't have a garden. ;)

And another +1 on the lattice thing.  That's awesome.

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2014, 08:24:32 PM »


My beans were looking like they needed a little nitrogen.   I added some blood meal and another organic fertilizer tonight.   Hope this brightens them up some.   I didn't do too much, just a boost.


Offline busymomx3

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2014, 08:35:59 PM »
Oh I love the lattice work with flowers that is beautiful.  So making the hubby build me some :).
Your garden is looking great.

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2014, 08:51:05 PM »
Oh I love the lattice work with flowers that is beautiful.  So making the hubby build me some :).
Your garden is looking great.

Thanks, I got the idea from a Home Depot commercial :).   Pretty simple, just a box frame, some lattice with black plastic stapled to it.   Once you get it boxed in, filled with dirt, you can cut a little "X" in each of the lattice holes and shove in a flower.

Only troube I'm finding is keeping it watered from the side.   I have gotten plenty of rain, but I still find I have to spray down the sides regularly.   Perhaps a couple of upright peices of PVC in the center, drilled like  you would for a French Drain?  Maybe that would keep it watered better.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2014, 10:43:03 PM »
beans should be fixing their own nitrogen, did you plant with an innoculant ?

d3nni5

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Re: MSP's garden 2014
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2014, 06:44:53 AM »
beans should be fixing their own nitrogen, did you plant with an innoculant ?

I did not, I planted right out of the package, but soaked the seeds for awhile before I planted.   

I do want to say, this soil in my garden is not the greatest.   A few months ago it was a mound of mostly clay and rock.   I took a tiller through it three times.   I added peet and composted manure from the local Southern States.   I got it nice and lose and I could dig way down into it with my hands after I was finished.   I don't think I have a drainage problem, nor do I have an issue with with lack of rain.

My hope is over time, as I grow, chop, drop and start my own composting I can get this soil really nice, but this year it is what it is :).   Now that I got the things started, my hope is I can simply turn the soil every year by hand now as I prep for  the next year.

I used only organic stuff for my fertilizer, I would rather have a whole pile of nice steamy compost, but that is my next project :).