Author Topic: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1  (Read 111051 times)

Hare of Caerbannog

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #210 on: October 05, 2009, 08:12:32 PM »
Cohutt: Your thread is far from an "overkill snoozer". In fact, watching the progress of your garden has really inspired me. I'm taking photos of our 1 acre of nothing but grass. Can't wait to compare my photos next Spring when the dirt is actually producing something.

I'm looking forward to Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 2.

I agree 100%!
I love this thread.
Its usually the first one I look for when I log on.
I've gotten very lazy with my garden in the last 2 years and this thread has been an inspiration for me to restore my garden to what it was and what it can be.
By spring, I hope to have something worth posting because I have been revived by Cohutt.

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #211 on: October 05, 2009, 09:26:32 PM »
Keep it up, cohutt. You are an inspiration.

Surely, we are on chapter 4 by now. :)

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #212 on: October 06, 2009, 05:07:26 AM »
Geez in hindsight that read as kind of whiny didn't it?  Sorry.


I figure Chapter 1 is through the end of 2009, my late-started-rush-to-get-something-going year.  Chapter 2 will be the more orderly and planned out 2010.

Win lose or draw I'll keep all the progress and regress posted here.

sarahluker

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #213 on: October 06, 2009, 06:41:13 AM »
Uhh, Cohutt, you definitely don't come over as whiney.  You sound like a guy who really works hard to make sure his family is provided for.  It's to be admired!  We all enjoy your story.

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #214 on: October 06, 2009, 07:27:17 AM »
(I realize this thread has turned into an overkill snoozer but a while back I figured I'd see the first year through in detail so I'd have a journal to go back and review.  I've tried some new things and learned through trial and error here, hopefully some of you might do the same.  ;) )

Cohutt,

I assure you haven’t been boring me, especially since you are so close geographically. I enjoy your story as I know others do as well. You really have inspired a lot of people on the forum. I know I have learned a lot watching you. I am growing Early Dividend Broccoli because I saw you do it. I hadn’t even heard of that strain before. It may also interest you to know Ebonearth nominated this thread for Heavy G’s “Best Of” . So, don’t worry about boring us my friend. Just worry about making some people angry should you choose to stop updating.  :D

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #215 on: October 06, 2009, 08:22:03 PM »
Thanks for the kind comments guys. 

No work tonight- gave my beaten hands a rest. 

I did go get a new set of handles from homey depot for the post hole diggers.   The only problem is the nub and existing handle are stuck on pretty badly; the bolts are rusted and spin in the old soft wood.   Aggravating.

I decided that I'd have to split the old handles off and then I can grab the bolts a torque the rusted nuts off.  Problem is the wood is old, soft and damp and just absorbs a chisel. 

So right now the thing is sitting over a 300 watt halogen shop light so the wood will dry out some.  Tommorrow I'll get two chisels and double them up to spilt off the old handle nubs.  In the meantime Kroil is working on the bolts/nuts too.


Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #216 on: October 11, 2009, 06:58:06 PM »
Several updates.

Fence:

Progress; a good bit of the frame is up - gotta decide how to finish it.  I want light and air flow but want security and privacy too. 








Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #217 on: October 11, 2009, 07:09:43 PM »
Broccoli:

One patch looks OK, came through without major damage except for a couple plants:



Two patches are recovering from a cabbage worm infestation.  I didn't act fast enough and they were almost done in.     DOH!









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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #218 on: October 11, 2009, 07:27:15 PM »
Carrots coming along; second attempt at seeding (front squares) beginning to sprout




Garlic is waking up. (thanks Spartan!)



Lettuce



More lettuce and some spinach in one of the tomato beds.



6 rabbiteye blueberry bushes ready to go in...  3 different varieties.


Hare of Caerbannog

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #219 on: October 11, 2009, 07:30:19 PM »
Looking good!

Offline spartan

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #220 on: October 14, 2009, 08:03:23 PM »
Glad to see that the garlic is doing well for you. My only recommendation for it is once it's up 6" or so, give it a nice thick dressing of clean straw mulch.  Really helps keep it productive.

And I still have some whole garlic bulbs left to offer for anyone who wants to plant it.  PM me if you want any, I like to share the garlic love.

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #221 on: October 15, 2009, 05:46:28 PM »
Jeez it is a wet fall here this year.  Not much work getting done on the fence and the blueberries are still in their nursery containers.    Yesterday evening I did manage to string out the last 40 feet of the fence and start to post holes.  In the dark.  And in the rain.


Spartan,

More info on straw?  Just to tuck it in and protect from hard freeze over the winter? 

And if you don't have any takers, I'll send you some of those 300g cast hollowpoints for some more garlic.  ;)

Offline spartan

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #222 on: October 15, 2009, 07:49:21 PM »
The straw helps protect it from a hard freeze, snow, heavy downpours, and sharp temperature swings.  Once fluffed from the bale and set in place, the straw doesn't compact down like other mulch options, and allows plenty of water and air flow to the soil.  Even with the rich soil mix I planted it in, there was never a touch of weeds and it popped up and grew well come spring, though we did have a mild winter.  This year isn't going to treat us so well.  The nor'easter is really tearing things up with some long steady rain.

And I've still got your address, so you will see more garlic in a few days.  ;D
« Last Edit: October 15, 2009, 07:52:02 PM by spartan »

Offline sherker55

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #223 on: October 17, 2009, 09:11:26 AM »
Guys, how have you done with your garlic over all?  I have had no success with my garlic whatsoever!  I got a couple of shoots to come up, but then they just wilted away and died...I did use garlic from the store though, that went to shoots...

Noreaster is killing us up here in NJ as well...45 and rain since Wednesday night, till Sunday...

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #224 on: October 17, 2009, 09:14:59 PM »
sherker,   

This is my first time so we won't know how it goes til next year.    However, I have read that using garlic from the grocery store doesn't usually work out well, something about the garlic being older and drier maybe. 

Offline sherker55

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #225 on: October 18, 2009, 09:25:16 AM »
I figured as much...I am going to do onions and garlic big time in the spring...do I need to get them in the ground now though, like bulb flowers?

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #226 on: October 18, 2009, 10:50:04 AM »
sherker,

I'm pretty much learning as I go but it seems you need to get it in the ground in the fall several weeks before the ground freezes.

I have never ordered from these guys; but they popped up when i googled "growing garlic" and this seems to be a pretty good overview:

http://thegarlicstore.com/ZenCart/index.php?main_page=page&id=5&chapter=0&zenid=1rqo2r1p6t8ml4c7tq598gpm72

Offline sherker55

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #227 on: October 18, 2009, 02:27:38 PM »
looks like a good source, thanks!   I emailed them already...

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #228 on: October 21, 2009, 12:00:46 PM »
We had some sunshine this past weekend and I managed to finish setting the posts and putting up the rest of the stringers for the fence from hell.  (All but 1 stringer actually, gotta pick up some more treated 2x4s.)

I also dug up a modestly large hackberry stump that would have been dissected by the fence line.  It was 7-8" or so in diameter, no problem, right?     WRONG.  It became a battle of wills and I eventually won after 45 minutes with a mattock and a heavy bar.  Won't be doing that again for sure, would rather resharpen my chainsaw a few times and cut it down below grade next time.

The bad news: this is much larger a job than I envisioned even though I had measured everything before i started.
The good news: my yard is much larger than I envisioned even though I had measured everything before I started.

From the alley at the back corner:



From the inside, atop one of the 3 ft high mulch/chip piles in the back


sarahluker

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #229 on: October 21, 2009, 12:03:58 PM »
Cohutt, the fence is looking great.  By the way, what are all the shrubs? 

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #230 on: October 21, 2009, 08:48:56 PM »
Cohutt, the fence is looking great.  By the way, what are all the shrubs? 
Now, don't get him started on that. He hasn't even finished the fence yet and now he will want to dig those up and replace them with something edible. Unless, of course, they are edible. They seem to be  shaped for looks though.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #231 on: October 21, 2009, 09:00:02 PM »
The shrubs are the remnants of an ancient boxwood garden that has been around since the 1920s.  Originally it was all English boxwood, which is a more compact and rounded bush when compared to the common or American boxwood.  Some time back in the 50 or 60s they lost some of the English and replanted with common.  

The beech tree I took out had started dropping large limbs on the garden and crushed several of the English over that last 4 years.  
I intend to clean it up by moving out the common and spreading the remaining English back around in a formal pattern similar to the original layout. There will be plenty of room for beds for herbs and/or other compact plantings. I cut them all back to nubs 18 years ago and sprigged a bunch of English from clippings; these are all about 2 ft tall now.
In the center there is a very large iron bell upside down as a birdbath center piece.  It is about 40 inches across and almost 4 ft tall; it is on record as being my town's original fire bell that was rung to summon the volunteer firedepartment.

Yeah I know boxwood doesn't produce but this is a part of the "home" with some history I want to keep intact.

There you go, more than you wanted to know. :)

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #232 on: October 21, 2009, 09:07:21 PM »
TexDaddy the thought crossed my mind from it would be the end of me if I did- I live in a historic district in a house with a lot of unique history and the boxwoods are a part of it all.

This is a shot from another angle post demolition/pre-fence that gives you another angle on the size of the old boxwood garden.  The common ones are mostly on the left side although there are some large English ones there too; the beech tree shaded and competed with the English on the right and they are much smaller as a whole...


sarahluker

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #233 on: October 21, 2009, 09:12:18 PM »
I thought they were boxwoods and I wondered if it had been a meditation garden or a mini maze.  I would surely keep it.  We have to have beauty and history in our lives, especially since you have more yard to plant your gardens in.  The back of the house has so much character and it's nice to get a little history.

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #234 on: October 21, 2009, 09:12:59 PM »
Cohutt, I think the boxwoods are beautiful, and I am all for preserving history. Its just, you know how we preppers get carried away sometimes. ;)

Hare of Caerbannog

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #235 on: October 21, 2009, 09:55:46 PM »
Hey Cohutt
FWIW, I would keep the boxwoods.
Birds love them for year around shelter and for overwinter protection.
And you need birds for a good garden.
Plus the history thing adds value to your land.
I have a large hedge that keeps about 200 birds through the harsh Ohio winters and am planning on planting more in the spring.
So the hedges don't feed me, they help the birds that help feed me.
 :)

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #236 on: October 22, 2009, 04:34:29 AM »
I've been messing around with the visio plot of my yard some- you can see what the original layout of the boxwoods were and the space they occupy overall isn't prohibitive now that sun hits the rest of the yard.   I also placed the blueberries where I think they will go and added the garden kiosk/tool shed that will double as a fence cross brace.


Offline cohutt

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #237 on: October 25, 2009, 08:39:16 PM »
No working on the project Saturday as I was on the road all day and had to make up for it today. 

NOTE:  I decided to go into a little more detail than I normally would with what follows.  The reason:  after a coworker saw the project Friday evening it became obvious to me that this isn’t intuitive work for everyone and maybe some folks might benefit from the long boring version of what would normally be a 1 paragraph 2 picture post.

I needed to turn 75 12’ 1x6s into 150 6’ 1x6s and wanted to make it as efficient as possible from both a time and effort standpoint, so I made a butt ugly mega jig out of scrap wood and set it up so that it fed easily into the bed of my truck.   I figure the 20 minutes of making this thing saved 2 or 3 hours of measuring, marking and aligning the boards for each cut.







A real beauty, isn’t it? 

Next I rolled my truck the 140 feet down the alley and spread the boards out in preparation for getting them up before dark.   

Ready to go:






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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #238 on: October 25, 2009, 08:45:04 PM »
I went to the trouble to nail all the top risers at the same level perfectly horizontal; I did this so that I could then use them as the reference to set the boards evenly and on a level course.

Jig time again-

First “jig” was an 8’ 2x6 that would sit on top of the top riser and provide the marker for the top of the board.   I used a sheetrock square with this to align the top of the boards with the edge of the 2x6.
Second jigs were the two spacer boards for proper spacing (duh) and to insure I was keeping all the boards on a perfect vertical alignment.
Finally I kept a level handy and spot checked each board once nailed to the top riser before tacking it in to the middle riser.

Here is the “system”, the 2x6 on top of the riser, the framing square and the two spacers. The spacers are short sections of 1x2s with long decking screws positioned to allow them to hang on the risers without shaking off when the next board was being aligned.



I used a finish nail gun to tack up the boards before coming back with ribbed decking nails.  This way I could knock out the tedious “precision” stuff quickly then make the permanent attachment “hands free”, with the boards already tacked up.

Progress, front and back:





And finally the main run of the “short” 6’ portion of the fence, which was finished under the trusty 300 watt halogen shop light:



I still have a lot of the permanent fastening to do on this run but it is basically “up” as planned.   (I'll cut off the tops of the fence posts that extend above the top of the boards).

This week I will have the 8' boards delivered for the "tall" part of the fence and hopefully make some headway there as well.


sarahluker

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Re: Cohutt builds a garden, Chapter 1
« Reply #239 on: October 25, 2009, 09:56:35 PM »
Looking good.  Also looks like hard work.  The fences that were replaced here after Ike were for the most part thrown together, by fence companies no less, and compared to yours they look like a child put them together.  There are some good fencing companies but you really pay alot to use them.  The spaces in your boards seem to let a good amount of light and air through.  That was reallly smart.  How much time do you estimate it will take to complete this job?