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New to SFG

Post  Gilly21 on 2/27/2012, 11:46 am

Good day all. I am My name is Steve but have been called Gilly since I began playing organized sports when I was 6. Even stuck when I went to college 400 miles away from home town. I am an avid fisherman and post on several fishing forums. This is my first in a gardedning forum. I set up my SFG this weekend as a family activity. Involved my beautiful wife and our 3yo, almost 4, in the process. I have been reading on here about the SFG method for a month or so. I have tried traditional gardening for 4 times and had mixed success/failure. Last year was a disaster. Only thing I really was able to harvest was Squash and basil. Corn did not produce, tomato's didn't produce, peppers failed etc. All I did was dig up an area of my yard and planted per the directions. Had family issues going on so I didn't tend it well either.

Anyway, family is back on track, new garden in place, and I am anxious to get some tasty food. I went to the local Habitat for Humanity store for my lumber-2"X10"x6'. Got 8 of them for $20. They were actually a bit over 6'long so my bed is 13x4x 10". I am starting with Peas, sugar snap peas, 3 types of lettuce, strawberry, Broccoli, carrots, and green onions. I was able to get a pickup load of nice compost. I know I may be starting out a bit behind the curve since I did not add in vermiculite. I did add a 35gallon trashcan of peet and mixed it in well. I also lined the bottom with two layers of landscaping felt. On top of that about an inch of hay straw that I had from my archery backstop. I will eventually add the vermiculite in as the compost settles and gives me the room I need or when I can take some out of the garden and start a flower bed.

Anyway here is our garden

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Re: New to SFG

Post  gwennifer on 2/27/2012, 12:03 pm

Well I won't harp on you about the vermiculite. Kudos to you for getting out there and trying gardening again! And brrrr.... it looks cold out there! So extra kudos for building your bed in the cold! I have a 3-almost-4 year old too. Such a fun age.

If you've been hanging around for a month now, hopefully you've seen there are plenty of friendly folks around here that are happy to help, and there's a wealth of information if you search for it. Your list of things you're going to start sound like excellent choices! Welcome to the forum!

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Re: New to SFG

Post  quiltbea on 2/27/2012, 12:29 pm

Welcome to the forum, from the far north. Your garden bed is lookin' good. Just get some vermiculite when you can and rake in deeply into your beds. It'll lighten up the soil and make tending easier.

Lots of helpful folks here so just ask and you'll find answers. Are your trellises on the north and west sides of your bed? If you can, give the little one his/her own square or two to grow something quick, like radishes and lettuce, and you'll have an eager garden helper.

Keep up the good work.

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Re: New to SFG

Post  Gilly21 on 2/27/2012, 12:52 pm

It actually wasn't bad yesterday. It was around 55 and sunny. I think my son did something to my photo settings. I will have to figure out how to fix that.

The trellus's are actually on the west and south. The bed runs N/S. By 3-3:30 in the afternoon the fencs and house will cast some shade during the summer. But the bed will get full sun from daylight until then. Maybe not the perfect scenario but I can move it later if I find it doesn't work. But my thought was that the whole bed will get at least 8 hours of sun each day from now to Oct, or later maybe. I want to put corn in the N section once it warms up. I really want to get some fresh corn.

My son doesnt really have his specific section, he planted almost the entire bit I set in yesterday. So it is all "his". If only I could get him to eat what we grow. I am a big meat eater but also need my fresh veggies as sides. He wont eat any of it. I guess I didnt either until I was in my late teens. I turned out ok I guess

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welcome

Post  curio on 2/27/2012, 1:13 pm

Welcome from the upper left side of the country!!
Your garden is looking very nice, even without the vermiculite. I agree, just dig some in later as you get a chance.

I remember helping my granddad garden when I was about your son's age. I think that is part of the reason I am so enthralled with it as an adult.

Have fun here... lots of wonderful folk Smile

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Re: New to SFG

Post  quiltbea on 2/27/2012, 1:23 pm

Usually if a child can see the results of his planting in a few days, like the fast-germinating radish or lettuce, they gain a better interest in the garden.

With your being in the south I'm sure your garden will reap the benefits of enough sunshine regardless of the trellis placement.

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Re: New to SFG

Post  Furbalsmom on 2/27/2012, 6:42 pm

gilly, nice looking SFG beds there.

Glad you joined us, and looking forward to hearing the adventures of a 3 almost 4 year old in the garden with Dad. You may be suprised at what he will eat if it comes out of "his" garden.



I was wondering about your ratio of compost to peat. "" I was able to get a pickup load of nice compost. I know I may be starting out a bit behind the curve since I did not add in vermiculite. I did add a 35gallon trashcan of peet and mixed it in well."" The vision I have from your statement is 5 -10 times the compost to peat. (though my ability to visualize the volume of a pick up bed and compare it to the volume of a trash can is pretty poor) If you are able to add vermiculite at a later date, you may find you will need to add a bit more peat too in order to get the best results.

Please keep us updated on your progress.

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Re: New to SFG

Post  sfg4uKim on 2/27/2012, 8:32 pm

Hi and welcome to the Forum

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Update

Post  Gilly21 on 4/21/2012, 8:34 am

Well it has been a month and a half since dropping in the first bed and have since added another 4x4 and a little table top for my 3 yr old to play in. Here are the results so far.


I have in the long bed south side:
Snap peas
English peas
Broccoli
Carrots
Lettuce
Spinach
Sweet peppers
Jalapeno peppers
Strawberries
onions




The north side of the long bed is all Silverqueen 84 plants that are doing awesome. I have a yellow squash tucked in there to see how it will do. I have other yellow squash and Zucs in the front garden/flower bed I transplanted out of the north side.



In my 4x4 I have:
Cucumbers
Bush beans
onions
1 Mortgage Lifter plant
1 Beef Steak
2 Cherry Tomato plants
3 Black Krim plants
Jalapeno peppers
and Lettuce tucked between the Cucumbers and the beans



Everything was growing very slowly through the middle of March so I added some MG shake and feed 10-10-10. It along with the bit of rain we got really kick started the the beds. Being impatient as I am I did not start out the beds with the right blend of MM and can see where the sections I actually am close to perfect MM I have much better growth. On the south side of the long bed I am more like 80% municipal compose, 10% peat and 10% vermiculite.
On the north side I have municipal compost 50%, black cow 10%, Black Hen 10%, 30% peat and 30% vermiculite. In the 4x4 I have about the same but more black cow and less municipal. So only 3 different composts and one being municipal compost.

I will be redoing the beds this fall after harvesting for the year and adding another 4x8 bed north of the 4x4. definitely going to have full MM and a strong backbone for next year.

I am not pleased with the progress of my broccoli. I know it is in mostly municipal compost but it is very slow and about 1" above ground level there is a ring, below the ring is more brown and about half the size of the rest of the stem. Two plants fell over and I dug them up to put them in deeper. I don't know what could have caused them to do that though. Any thoughts?
Strawberry plants were put in on 2;28 but just started to produce flowers and a couple buds. I didn't know they were perennials and so slow the first year until recently. I think I will pull them and make a strawberry tower. It has been a great experience for my son and he loves checking the garden. We will probably eat our first salad this weekend. Learning is a process that has disappointments along the way but every year I hope to get better.

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Re: New to SFG

Post  givvmistamps on 4/21/2012, 1:03 pm

That garden looks beautiful to me! From what I hear, broccoli has a tendency to tip over. You could try staking it.

Also, since your mix isn't ideal this year, feeding it is probably best, and you'll probably need to water it more since your compost outweighs the other 2 ingredients. There are lots of different organic options out there now, but I would suggest you get a testing kit to see what the pH and such are for the garden, also. That way you can see exactly what's lacking. Municipal compost is problematic; it often has chemicals in it that can be counterproductive in a garden.

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Re: New to SFG

Post  kbb964 on 4/21/2012, 1:30 pm

Gilly, I love your garden pictures and can't wait until mine is showing more signs of life. Everything looks great, I especially like the trellis you have for the English Peas? Your Onions look super, I am now wishing I had some onions in. I think I get more excited about what the plant tops look like than the root bits!

I hope mine looks as lovely as yours after 6 weeks.

I remember getting all excited when I was little, watching my Aunt grow veggies and helping to pick the peas and beans. Nothing better than a pea from the pod. Your little ones will love them I am sure.

I dont have any little kids but I took my hubby out there this morning to show him my seedlings, you'd have thought i was talking to a 4 year old the way I was so excited! I am off to buy radish seeds today as he suddenly announced that he likes to crunch on those. First interest he has shown. lol

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Re: New to SFG

Post  Gilly21 on 4/22/2012, 3:19 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I might go ahead and do a soil test. I have been thinking about it just been too lazy to do it. I cant wait for the peas to sprout. Of all the things in my garden the peas maters and corn are the ones I look forward to the most.

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5/8/update

Post  Gilly21 on 5/8/2012, 2:53 pm

We have been eating Salad from the bed, Peas showed up this week, my son pulled a "weed" out that wa actually a carrot. Which was about 5" long. The tomatos are flowering, the beans are either flowering or starting to show tiny beans on them, I lost my two nearly ripe strawberries when I let my chicks roam. But overall things are coming along very nicely. I lost my one Morgage Lifter plant and replaced it with a yellow pear that is doing very well. Also I added a couple Marigolds because I couldn't pass up the sale of a buck a piece. Lastly the pepper plants are all growing at very different rates. One is nearly 9" but the others range from 2-6". Not sure why though.

Here is the overall view from ~ 0630 this morning.


Here are the beans and maters


I am getting concerned about the broc. They are getting huge but not forming any heads. They took a long time to get going and establish strong stems but now they look like they are just going to keep growing without any broccoli. Any idea?



I also redid the small 1'x2.5' box I had herb seads in. The only thing that was coming up was Thyme. So I pulle that out and replanted in a window box. I reseeded with sage, parsly, and rosemary with the new box of Thyme. In the little box I redid, I sowed, lavender, baby's breath, nasturtium, and some other small flower I had a packet lying around. On the one side of the box I put a very small seedling I had of cherry tomato. Figure I can pull it up and give it to the neighbor if she wants it later on.

The Zucchini and yellow squash I transplanted in the front garden is taking over. I have 6 plants out there and they are all 12-24"wide. They look awesome. They were very sad looking after the move but bounced back quite well. I will get a pic tonight of them when I get home.

here is one last pic of the chicken tractor I build last weekend. Still needs paint but the chicks are loving it. I cant believe how quick they grow. Bought them as tiny little things on Easter weekend and now they are about 8-10" tall and feathered out.

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Re: New to SFG

Post  brenda g on 5/8/2012, 3:15 pm

WOW! Looking good Gilly21!

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Re: New to SFG

Post  quiltbea on 5/8/2012, 3:25 pm

Great garden. Love the chicken tractor, lucky you to have chickens.

Is that 4 per square of corn I noticed? What variety is that where you could place them so closely?

Broccoli takes time to head up. They get quite tall before forming so just give it a little more time. If you haven't been growing them in a heatwave, they should be ok. If they've suffered from heat earlier, they may never head up. Only time will tell at this point.

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Re: New to SFG

Post  Gilly21 on 5/8/2012, 8:50 pm

Yes I did 4 per square on the corn. I went by the SFG book on that although I am nervous to see how they do. so far so good. Ill give the broc some time still. I trimmed out all my spinach tonight. It looked as though it was about to bolt. Fed some to the chicks. They had a rough day. Apparently the chicken wire was not strong enough to stop a curious pooch. He snacked on two of the little guys before getting caught. Oh well so goes the circle of life. Heavier screen on the coop now. Don't think tiger could get them now. I'll get pics of the zuke's in the am.

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Re: New to SFG

Post  Gilly21 on 5/9/2012, 8:38 am

Here are my zuc's and yellow squash. Noticed I have a few sprouts this morning. I have to move the one little one again. My MIL moved is two weeks ago from the other garden so she could put in a rose bush. She got it a bit too close to the big guy.


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Re: New to SFG

Post  Gilly21 on 5/25/2012, 9:04 pm

I was on a week long vacation with my wife and son and came home to this. Going to be a good day tomorrow picking the goodies.












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Re: New to SFG

Post  walshevak on 5/25/2012, 9:15 pm

Amazing isn't it how a garden will just take off and grow. Same this happen to me last year. Enjoy.

Kay

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Re: New to SFG

Post  Goosegirl on 5/26/2012, 7:53 am

What a wonderful greeting from your yard!

GG

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The harvest

Post  Gilly21 on 5/26/2012, 8:45 am

Harvested what I could today. Most of the snap peas were overdone, but I think my sons rabbit will enjoy them. If not the chickens will.




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Re: New to SFG

Post  walshevak on 5/26/2012, 11:47 am

Don't forget that the overripe snap beans (tough pods but still green) can be shelled and mixed with the tender green pods for a mixed bean dish.

Kay

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6-18 update

Post  Gilly21 on 6/19/2012, 10:32 pm

So we got word we had to make a last minute trip to NY for family matters. So I wanted to take some pics to see how much things will grow over the week. Its been about three weeks or so since my last update anyway so here we go.

Black Krim is looking good and lots of fruits but slow to ripen



This was a seed from a black krim pack but looks different than the other two plants. Cant wait to see what I actually have here.



Supersweet 100's have just started to turn colors. I picked 3 ripe ones and never made it past the garden before eating



Here is my wall of growth Tom's and Cucumbers





Corn is looking good. Skinny stalks but ears are looking real good. Hoping for a good polination and lots of great corns.



Pulled my Broccoli plants, all but one, and replanted some beans, a cantalope, eggplant, and some more carrots. Sitll have two open squares and not sure what to put in them yet.



The yellow squash and zuc plants out front are still going strong and I am getting 4-8 a weeks of nice sized fruits. Going t oexpand the garden and create a nice sitting area within the area soon. Planning another 4x8 box. Also going to put in some winter squash soon and start some sweet taters in a few bins as an exparement. We will see. I am very pleased with progress in the first year.

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Re: New to SFG

Post  Kelejan on 6/20/2012, 10:34 am

Looking godd, Gilly21. I am enjoying your pictures. Very Happy

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Re: New to SFG

Post  Gilly21 on 6/20/2012, 5:53 pm

Thanks. First year and I am very happy for the turn out

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Re: New to SFG

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