Author Topic: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1  (Read 108380 times)

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #240 on: October 26, 2009, 04:31:25 AM »
How much time do you estimate it will take to complete this job?

LOL, that's the $64 question......

The truth is it will never ever really be finished - the fence might be done soon but this big new "urban homestead" lifestyle project has just begun.


Maybe by the end of this coming weekend I can have all the boards up and securely fastened Including the 8' ones).  After that I have some more clearing to do along the back border- removing the ivy, privet, junk stumps and old fencing.  Once that is done I do the whole sting, post holes, posts, stringers, etc again.  I also have to cross brace the long alley run in at least one place, two or three would be better.  Ideally each bracing would serve a dual purpose, ie be part of another functional structure like a modular compost bin, a veggie trellis or a tool shed.

The post that the light is on in the night picture above is potentially part of the bracing- I dug a hole and dropped it in (no dirt of concrete) to get a view on possibly putting a tool shed (6'x6' at most) there, attached to the fence and incorporating the cross bracing into it.  That location would also block the visual from the house where the short and tall parts of the fencing meet.  You can see the "shed" in the drawing a few posts up.  what I have in mind (and pre-approved by Mrs C) is a rustic/funky potting shed type design. I have scavenged some "pre-conditioned" galvanized roofing (ie rusty) for it as a brand new shiny roof would look out of place with all the other old worn stuff on my property.

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #241 on: October 26, 2009, 07:09:54 AM »
Do you really like doing projects? 

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #242 on: October 26, 2009, 11:44:15 AM »
Do you really like doing projects? 

lol

I believe that ultimately, nobody in this country does anything that they really don't want to do.

My long lunch break thoughts regarding "projects".

Yeah I like projects. When people ask me "geez, when to ever have time to _______(fill in pleasurable hobby or way to pass time here)" they don't get that this is what I do by choice. Unless I have something to work on outside of work I go crazy.  When they say "i don't have time to do that" I ask them how much TV they watch per day/week.  Inevitably the answer is something like "not much, only a couple shows a night".  As I push them some it is obvious that they watch at least 20 hours of TV per week.   That's their choice, their hobby.  My choice is to push my mind/body during those hours so that neither turn to jello as I pass 50.

It is funny, my brain operates in a visual, Asperger's type of mode.  My wife's is the opposite.  Once Jack confirmed what i knew I really wanted in life last spring, a vision of this project developed within a few days.   She has shown concern and a little anxiety over the yard once the trees, privet and fence were gone.  I've sketched for her, walked her around the yard talking about things and shown pictures that bear some semblance to what I see.  Still her expression says she doesn't see it... 

Last night when she came out and saw the fence actually looking like a fence she got really really excited- like she'd been away for weeks and came back to discover it.   I mean she was downright gleeful about how it is starting to turn out, like the switch was just thrown.  I was kind of just, duh, what's the big deal.....

How has this marriage survived 25 years? lol......

Back to work now...

sarahluker

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #243 on: October 26, 2009, 03:00:37 PM »
We are pretty much the same...but opposite, seeing as my husband is like your wife and I like the projects.  He has done the same thing about not seeing the big picture of my schemes so many times and then is amazed when he sees the reality.  I guess opposites really do attract.  I do have to say that I have to work on not letting it bother me that he doesn't enjoy what I consider the man's jobs around the house.  His dad is someone who goes non-stop and it bothers him too.    I'm glad Mrs. C is on board now.  Keep on showing us what you're doing as we all enjoy the stories and pictures.

Offline sherker55

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #244 on: October 26, 2009, 07:07:48 PM »
looking good man, I was going to suggest a shadowbox style, I think that's what its called...both good for ventilation and privacy

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #245 on: October 26, 2009, 08:07:42 PM »
Note to self:

Driving nails in the dark, even with a new Estwing forged hammer, tends to suck after a while.

(I need cross lighting for this and only have one portable halogen shop light right now.)




Sherker,

I think the shadow box design has a top cap rail that overhangs the pickets by a little bit to give it a "3-D look".  I am still considering this for the tall front section since it will be visually separated (by the toolshed/crossbrace) from the shorter back section I tacked up this weekend.  This is why I toe-nailed the stringers in the tall section to be flush with the posts.  Royal PIA.....
« Last Edit: October 26, 2009, 08:13:42 PM by cohutt »

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #246 on: November 01, 2009, 06:55:01 PM »
This was to be a big weekend - where hopefully I would finish the side run of the fence and get back to actual garden improvement. 

Unfortunately the front that blew through the southeast brought fairly constant rain all day Saturday into the evening.  Having both days free to get work done in a weekend has been rare lately so I figured I'd have to find a way to get something done Saturday-

The solution: good ol white trash tarp covers strung up in my backyard.  I set up the miter on walkboard under the tarp, measured each section of the "tall" part of the fence and then cut 100+ boards to fit.  After I cut them I laid them out in front of each section.  (Fresh pressure treated lumber is heavy; especially so if it has a couple inches of rain dumped on it while your working on it). Sunday I hung them up and rewarded myself with a trip to the range for the first time in a few weeks.

The cutting tent, extending from the porch of Lizzie's:



Looking back into the area (college football streamed to the work area though my laptop complements of CBS sports and ESPN360).


Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #247 on: November 01, 2009, 07:04:20 PM »
Today (Sunday) was a perfect day for catching up- 60 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

FENCE!









(the last tall section isn't tacked in in a couple of the pictures; it is also the back of the tool shed I'm building into the fence- more on this later in the week maybe).

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #248 on: November 01, 2009, 07:18:23 PM »
This is kind of trivial but it worked so damn well I figure I'd share:
It was so soft/muddy next to the fence from all the rain, a normal step ladder would sink in and tip; I used scrap to make a "floater" stool that wouldn't sink and was solid enough to stand on.  The flat feet worked like a charm- very steady and no "quicksand effect".  The 2x6s are cut @15 degrees.




When I'm done with the fence I'll use it as a seat when bullet casting.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2009, 07:21:05 PM by cohutt »

sarahluker

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #249 on: November 01, 2009, 08:04:01 PM »
 After you're through using the bench for the fence you should get you some foam and some fake leather vinyl, then with a staple gun cover the seat so you can work in comfort.  Everything is looking great. 

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #250 on: November 01, 2009, 08:45:41 PM »
You are a dynamo, Cohutt. Great job on the fence, the tarp and the floater.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #251 on: November 04, 2009, 08:11:17 PM »
"The Fall Garden"

Over the last couple of evenings I cleaned up the yard a bit from the soggy weekend contruction project, moved my temporary wire fence again and blew the pecan leaves off the patio and lawn.

This afternoon, I came home for a late lunch and to let Mrs C's newly adopted stray out for a break.  When I stepped into the backyard the sun was shining and it was a nice 65 degrees, the butterflies and bumblebees were all over the marigolds and i felt the headache that had been stalking me evaporate.

Since I haven't been posting much lately about how the actual plants are doing in the fall garden, I grabbed the camera and took a few shots that really don't do it justice.....

First, I'm really liking the way the fence looked as a background, especially when compared to the rotten invasive privet that had resided there for the last 50 years.

You can see some of the back-from-the-dead broccoli recovering after the cabbage worm massacre.  The marigolds are in full bloom now and the 3 types of basil are still healthy (the tall stuff that is not staked).  Some young spinach is in the left side of the broc bed




From the other side -  the front bed here has the variety planted in it for sure-
a white heirloom tomato racing to beat  the looming freeze next week for it's first "ripe" tomato
Some scraggly peanuts being crowded by more the marigolds
some member donated garlic
a variety planting of lettuce from SSE.
a tiny single broccoli plant pulled from a double sprouted tray that just might make it...




Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #252 on: November 04, 2009, 08:13:26 PM »
the fence side bed:
Left to right-
More spinach
More lettuce
more goober peas



This picture is of the mo' better Broccoli in the small middle bed in the background of the above pic.


Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #253 on: November 04, 2009, 08:21:26 PM »
Carrot tops and basil



and another grid of lettuce next to the carrots.  Mrs C's 7 lb newly adopted homestead patrol dog is in the background ready to pounce on any squirrel that dares to approach the perimeter.



God what a beautiful day today. I hated to have to return to the office.

Offline Roswell

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #254 on: November 05, 2009, 06:36:04 AM »
Cohutt,

That is one beautiful garden! I can see why you found it hard to go to work. Are the marigolds just for bringing in the bees and being pretty or do you have another use?

Have you had any problems with your brocolli? I planted mine right before the flood in Atlanta, a little over a month ago. I got “early dividends” from an herloom seller. I think it was victoryseeds.com. Maybe it is because of the flood, in fact I am sure it is, but my sprouts are still only sprouts, only 2 or 3 inches tall. Do you have any ideas? Should I replant? 

sarahluker

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #255 on: November 05, 2009, 06:39:11 AM »
I was going to ask about the broccoli too.  With so much rain in houston mine has huge yellow spots and black dots on it.   Cohutt you are one magic gardener!

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #256 on: November 05, 2009, 07:57:50 PM »
Actually I'm a little disappointed in the broccoli- I know someone who planted about a week before I did from the same lot of plants who has been harvesting for a couple weeks now.
Several things were working against it

I put the garden in in June and underestimated the amount of shade that would hit the garden as the season changed.  The guilt beech tree is now a pile of chips in the back of the yard.

Second, I missed the early signs of cabbage worms and one day it seemed all the leaves on the plants were devoured.

By the time I got rid of the buggers, the days were getting really short and another tree started shading the garden @ about 2:45.  (This tree is a giant hackberry on the commercial lot across the alley from my garden- it is consumed with english Ivy and is ready to fall.  Fortunately I talked to the owner Saturday and he indicated he was taking it and another one down shortly.)

As much as I would like to grow everything semi organically right away I decided some 10-10-10 was necessary to get the leaves regenerated; the modest amount I applied made a big difference and now that the leaves have grown back the heads are forming pretty well in most plants.  I may get some brocs yet.
Live and learn.

Roswell,
I think to grow fall broccoli from seed around here you need to start the seeds in late july.  I bought plants and got them in a tad later than I wanted - the long sunny days of late august and early september seem to be the ticket to getting the leaves out all big and healthy on the plants before the heads form as things cool off.  Too late to start over i think
The marigolds were for variety and supposedly help keep certain pests away.  I put the seeds in directly way back in July and have just now gotten a jillion blossoms.   Mrs C is a big fan of the color and I'll put some other flowers in next year as well.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 08:02:16 PM by cohutt »

Offline Cheeta68

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #257 on: November 05, 2009, 09:31:56 PM »
All i can say is WOW. I have been following your progress for a couple of months and you have made an amazing transformation. I have embarked on several of the projects like you have this year after I woke up from my state of denial. You are so right in pointing out that others do not realize that it is a choice we make about how we spend our time. It's hard to watch my friends waist their lives away. I hope I can inspire them as much as you have inspired us with your journey.

Way Cool.
Keith

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #258 on: November 09, 2009, 11:24:57 AM »
Thanks cheetah/Keith.  having a thread going has been good motivator for me to tray and bring some improvement every week and I am certain I would have made much less progress if i wasn't posting...

I spent the weekend working on the fence / toolshed /back border.  I'll show it all when completed but that's still a few days/weeks away.

garden update pic 1:
The squares of lettuce are big enough to start having regular clippings removed. yum.



Garden update pic 2:
And we a getting close to real broccoli heads now....still small, about 3 fingers worth of fist.




« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 11:26:58 AM by cohutt »

Offline ebonearth

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #259 on: November 10, 2009, 09:53:01 AM »
Bravo Cohutt! Bravo!

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #260 on: November 14, 2009, 07:07:12 PM »
Well I'll be damned...... 

I pulled up the peanut plants today and there were actually peanuts under them.  Shazam!

I put them in just for the hell of it and really didn't think they were producing any.  I'm not planning on doing it again next year but it was kind of cool to find goober peas had grown. :)





Fred_47460

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #261 on: November 15, 2009, 05:18:56 PM »
Frigging AWESOME Cohutt !! You are an inspiration for those of us still preparing to prepare!! Your posts are part of the reason I'm working a crap-box full of overtime....in about 25 weeks I'll have enough cash saved up to buy 5 to 10 acres !! I am SOL for doing any gardening where I'm at right now.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #262 on: November 15, 2009, 06:08:49 PM »
Thanks for the kind words Fred, I'll keep posting progress as it occurs (and setbacks as well.
________________________________________________________________________________________

I spent the entire day out there working today- sunny and low 70s, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

Yesterday I found the other back corner survey pin; it was chore since a neighbor dumped some dirt against the wire fence that managed to cover it up with maybe a foot of soil.  Add multiple years of leaves and English ivy growth on top of that and you get the picture.  I dug the hole for the post then set it this morning.  

I continued working on clearing the back property line (and found more yellow jackets), fixed my chain saw and cut off several small stumps closer to the ground.
The other side wall of the toolshed is up and I put the roof on it as well.  I tried to find some surplus metal that looked "vintage" for Mrs Cohutt wasn't successful.  I ended up buying 3 pieces of new galvanized roofing, cut them in half then washed them in vinegar a couple times to take the sheen off.  When I was done I remembered why I hate putting up this type of roof.

I'll get some pictures of the shed up later this week- it doubles as the cross bracing in the middle of the long run of fence and is 4x8; it is where yard tools, mower etc will reside once complete.

We ate the first head of garden broccoli tonight & it was delicious. Like everything else fresh from the garden there is a huge difference even from the in season fresh Kroger produce.  The lettuce has gone ape with the cool nights and sunny days

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #263 on: November 17, 2009, 04:34:43 PM »
The long 120' fence run and shed/brace



Closer of the shed- I'll finish the front and doors with the same fence board i used on the sides.  The front framing is just wedged in right now so it is wompy-jawed.   Wire fence is temporary dog retainer I set up using the salvaged welded wire that was in the privet hedge.



Hare of Caerbannog

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #264 on: November 19, 2009, 05:30:49 PM »
Good lookin' fence!
You're an inspiration to us all.
I love this post thread! I meant this thread, not my post.


(edited because I evidently don't know the difference between a thread and a post.)
« Last Edit: November 20, 2009, 07:08:39 PM by Hare of Caerbannog »

Offline Roswell

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #265 on: November 19, 2009, 06:46:31 PM »
Cohutt, that is awesome! I even showed my wife all the changes you have made. It really is amazing. Can you try to take a picture mirrorring the first picture you took in this thread. (my wife requested it)

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #266 on: November 19, 2009, 08:09:03 PM »
Roswell

 I tried from memory but I missed it a little, plus I got some glare shooting through the glass.

But until I get the right shot, here you go:

Before:



After (so far):


Offline Roswell

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #267 on: November 19, 2009, 08:27:08 PM »
Thanks Cohutt, that is a great picture. Your backyard is freaking huge now. My wife and I love it.  :)

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #268 on: November 19, 2009, 10:04:48 PM »
Cohutt, you have done some wonderful things there. Some of us have some catching up to do.  ;)

Looks great. Keep it up.

Offline patrat

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #269 on: November 23, 2009, 01:48:57 PM »
You mentioned putting the fence up for security/privacy. Because you have the cross bracing on the outside, it is easier for someone to climb in from outside. Very unlikely to be an issue, but thought I would point it out.

Your homestead has got me jealous, and anxious to stop renting. Costs are so much higher on portable gardens.