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Greetings from the Olympic rainshadow

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Greetings from the Olympic rainshadow

Post  navajas on 2/20/2012, 12:12 am

Hola!

This will be our first full year of gardening and we are very excited. I've spent the last three or four nights drawing up plotting plans, buying seeds, thinking deep thoughts, etc... Last night I dreamed about nothing else. We are jumping in with both feet and hoping to produce enough food to feed our family of four enough veggies and fruits for the year. Er, well at least until Winter I guess. *

I'm pretty sure I'll be on the forum a lot as along with my excitement is a decent helping of intimidation. I'll be getting pictures up of our garden in a while, certainly before we plant. I'd like to keep a bit of a blog for my own benefit as well.

How did I get here? Well. Long about this time last winter I promised my six year old that we'd build the garden we had always talked about. I never break a promise. Since we've done a lot of things half way in the past I also promised myself I'd do it right. I actually designed the garden long before settling on the square foot approach. Took about $1000 after all was said and done:

Fence: 20' x 25' x 8'
Five Open Bottom Boxes: 4' x 8' x 1'
Three yards washed gravel floor
Six yards local garden mix: 1/3 Peat, 1/3 Sand, 1/3 Composted Manure
Adding this year: Three to five trellises and grids of some kind

Why the big fence? Deer. Big problem where we live and 8' is a guarantee. A neighbor built his to 6' and woke up one morning to the screams of an injured deer he had to shoot because it had tried to make the jump and got tangled in the net. Blech. Not for me.

The build got finished much too late for a proper garden but one weekend while I was studying inside the wife and kids planted what they thought was a lot food. I was a little miffed because by then I had been reading about the SF method but they were so happy, proud and excited what could I do? Ask them to dig it up? Ha!

Even as late as it was, how super cold (for the second year in a row) the summer was, and the boxes planted with like two rows of seeds each, we still got a lot of food out of those boxes: carrots (rainbow mix, about 1 in 10 were pink and tasted better than anything similar I've eaten in my entire life), yellow zucchini, the best green beans I've ever eaten, mega tons of snow peas, lots of barely edible turnips (told my wife, yes, we can have a few feet of turnips this year, but I'm not eating a single bite), and parsnips. My God! Diced up into little cubes, drizzled with some oil and salt, and roasted at high temperature in the oven those parsnips were epic! I could eat a large movie theater bucket full of those things.

Anyway, I digress as I often do while day dreaming about those parsnips. This year we're going for the gold. I've got the boxes pretty much planned out. For spring anyway. I think I'm just going to cross the second planting bridge when I get there.

So yes. Excited. However;

* Things that intimidate me


Starting plants inside / transplanting (not sure why, just does)
Trying to get the squashes to go vertical (last year our zucchini got so big they eventually demanded to see my leader)
Building a cutting table
Building coldframes

If anyone actually read this, here, have a cookie.

Because, you're not getting one of my parsnips.
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navajas

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Re: Greetings from the Olympic rainshadow

Post  Chopper on 2/20/2012, 2:01 am

@navajas wrote:Hola!


Fence: 20' x 25' x 8'
Five Open Bottom Boxes: 4' x 8' x 1'
Three yards washed gravel floor
Six yards local garden mix: 1/3 Peat, 1/3 Sand, 1/3 Composted Manure
Adding this year: Three to five trellises and grids of some kind

I realize you started these before you became aware of SFG. Might I suggest for maximum success that you ate least add 4-6 inches of Mel's Mix to your already pretty decent soil mix. Or if nothing else, make sure you top the boxes with a nice blended compost (5 different composts) You will be happier for it.

I do not envy anyone battling deer but I think the fence is the only way. I love nature - until it screws with my veggie garden or crawls in my house. I think you will love the trellises. They are super handy. I look forward one day to making a tunnel trellis between two boxes.

Have fun! Spring has to come eventually...

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Re: Greetings from the Olympic rainshadow

Post  camprn on 2/20/2012, 7:40 am

Navajas, to the SFG Forum!!! So glad to have you here and thanks for the cookie! I like cookies. albino
Now don't fret about starting your own seed this year, going with transplants from your local grower is great. The main reason a lot of folks begin their own plants from seed is because they often desire an heirloom variety or rare plant.

+1 what Chopper was saying about getting maximum benefit from your garden; replace the top 6 inches of soil with Mel's Mix.

Do you have a copy of the All New Square Foot Gardening book?

____________________________

41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Re: Greetings from the Olympic rainshadow

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/20/2012, 9:20 am

Hello Sequim! I love putting my kayak into the bay after a day of blowing money on all kinds of lavender. I need at least one lavender mocha a year (it is a long drive from Everett) to remember how good mornings can be. Welcome to the board!!

So you love parsnips eh. That is a veg the grand's had nothing good to say about. I've gotta get me some seed now. Humm, I wonder if I can score some popcorn bags for the family.

I am so looking forward to reading your adventures in gardening and marriage zen. Like you, I am hoping for at least a couple of months of actual summer this year. The last two were great for the slugs and any salad greens that did not fall to them. Hope you write often. You are a good read.

Debs....NOT in the rain shadow, I'm in the convergence zone and get dumped on by every system that blows through.......hoping to avoid the "chunky rain" (snow-rain mix) that MJ (AM Fox 13) is threatening us with today (2/20)
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Re: Greetings from the Olympic rainshadow

Post  navajas on 2/20/2012, 11:12 am

Thanks for all the replies and notes of welcome.

Yeah, I realize it's not the exact soil suggested (though it's pretty darn close), but I also realize that another three cubic yards of compost isn't anywhere near even sitting in the car, parked on the curb, in front of the path, leading to a covered porch before knocking on the door to my budget. We've been composting our own stuff since last year and that'll either be enough, or it won't. Judging from the huge growth received from just moderate and pedestrian attempts last year I'm not too worried. Besides, as we compost more the soil will improve over time. Right?

Yes, I have the book. In fact, popping it open, 1/3 Peat, 1/3 Sand, 1/3 Compost + Poop is really close to what he suggests. Ha. I would have thought folks would be on me for the larger than square boxes or the sand vs. vermiculite rather than extra compost. Also, I would have had to sell the house to mix up enough soil to fill five foot deep boxes! The soil is loose and seems to work fine: We'll see what happens.

Deb: I am one of those shadowy outcasts, lurking beyond the fringe of the local culture who simply doesn't like lavender that much. :-/

Our little seeds get started today, wish us luck!
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Re: Greetings from the Olympic rainshadow

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/20/2012, 11:32 am

@navajas wrote: Deb: I am one of those shadowy outcasts, lurking beyond the fringe of the local culture who simply doesn't like lavender that much. :-/


Lord have mercy! More for me.

@navajas wrote:Our little seeds get started today, wish us luck!


Luck!

Ray came in this AM and asked if I want to get my seeds planted. Thinking of the chunky rain I was not real sure, and made that "I don't wanna" look. WHAT?!? There was a day that I would wear snow boots and tunnel through the snow to plant peas. I've put on rain gear to plant in a sideways rain. I think I'm getting old. Ray doesn't even like peas. I had to run out and repent of that face. He has two new 4x8's sitting on the back deck waiting to be placed in the "garden". I missed Lincoln's birthday (my mom was laughing at me; she remembers that it was Washington's Birthday, not Lincoln's). Good day to start the 2012 Toy Box. I will be thinking of you!
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Re: Greetings from the Olympic rainshadow

Post  navajas on 2/20/2012, 3:44 pm

Alright, well, read a bit on the forum and I confess now you've all got me worried about my dirt. If I remember right the soil company said it was mostly yard waste, horse poop and cow poop. It seemed really nice quality when I was filling the boxes, didn't stink a bit, was nice, dark and fluffy. And things really did grow well...

Hmm.

So hell, guess it might be time to break the kids' piggy banks and add a bit more compost to the tops. Oh, that reminds me, deer poop! They crap all over the yard. Can I just toss that in with the kitchen compost? There's a local company or two that produces a worm tea that the people around here swear by. Would that count?
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Re: Greetings from the Olympic rainshadow

Post  gwennifer on 2/20/2012, 6:32 pm

I just wanted to accept my cookie. You're a fun read.

Put the deer poop in your compost and let it, well, compost, before adding it to your garden.

Can't wait to see pictures - your fenced in garden sounds wonderfully tidy. Yay for another PNW'er!
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Re: Greetings from the Olympic rainshadow

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/3/2012, 1:31 pm

navajas, Sorry, I don't know how I missed your posts

Though I am on the OR Coast, we have extended family in Sequim. My Son and DIL were just here from Bremerton bringing a bit of that region (20 m.o. grandson) to visit me. Looking forward to hearing more of your adventures.

So hell, guess it might be time to break the kids' piggy banks and add a bit more compost to the tops. Oh, that reminds me, deer poop! They crap all over the yard. Can I just toss that in with the kitchen compost? There's a local company or two that produces a worm tea that the people around here swear by. Would that count?

Yes, the ideal is 1/3 Compost, 1/3 Peat Moss and 1/3 Vermiculite.

Though I don't collect deer droppings from my yard (little piles of pellets here and there) others have discussed collecting it and adding to their compost piles.

Worm tea is not a compost so would not count as a type of compost, but it certainly would be good for watering the SFG.

Hope this is a very successful year for you. Please keep us posted on your progress and share pictures if you can.
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Re: Greetings from the Olympic rainshadow

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