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Planting today

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Planting today

Post  bwaynef on 4/7/2012, 9:21 am

The beds I have are prepared. I've got components for my MM. My seeds are sprouted and growing. I'm planning on mixing everything up and getting it in the beds today. Hopefully I'll have the energy/stamina to plant after I get the mix in.

My question: Where I have a couple of beds there's grass growing. I don't want to put weedblock down so I can get worms and other goodies from the soil into my SFG. Is it necessary for me to dig out the grass? Straight vinegar sprayed about a week ago hasn't done anything to slow it down. I'm hesitant to use Round-Up ...but digging seems a lot of work.

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Re: Planting today

Post  llama momma on 4/7/2012, 10:00 am

You can put cardboard on the grass, be sure to overlap the edges, and if you want to protect from burrowing critters, staple hardware cloth on the bottom. The cardboard will smother the grass, it will break down and let the worms migrate up into the box. Worked like a charm on my beds. Make sure you have five good sources of compost. Countless beginners skimp then are disappointed.

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Re: Planting today

Post  kittykat on 4/7/2012, 10:58 am

I did the cardboard thing with my beds. Worked great! I put the boxes in place last fall and put the cardboard under them. I didn't even get the garden mix into the boxes until a few weeks ago, but the cardboard worked well over the winter.


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Re: Planting today

Post  GWN on 4/7/2012, 11:20 am

I have used the cardboard thing for years and when I just leave it over grass, and then lift it a year later, usually there are either many many worms on the cardboard, OR eggs... BB\'s happy face

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Re: Planting today

Post  walshevak on 4/7/2012, 12:47 pm

Unless that is bermuda grass. Bermuda grows from runners and is persistant, even if dug out. Double or triple the layers of cardboard.

Kay

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So I didn't get anything planted today...

Post  bwaynef on 4/7/2012, 10:09 pm

...but my Mel's Mix is in place and watered. Its amazing how much water it takes to get everything wet. Its equally amazing how much work it takes to get everything mixed up.

I opted to scalp the grass (Tall Fescue) w/ the lawn mower on the lowest setting, then put down cardboard as suggest on the two boxes where grass was growing. I managed to use the vermiculite bags as weed block in the remaining beds.

I'm pretty pleased with my compost blend, though some of it had hints of wood chips in an otherwise black compost. I will likely be adding Black Hen later in the spring/early summer to make up for this particular compost. I'm also prepared to fertilize this year if needed.

I had Black Kow, Black Hen, Mushroom Compost, the aforementioned "Manure compost" (which had forest products & cow & chicken manures & a touch of sand according to the label), and an organic compost made from grain byproducts. The last & the chicken manure seemed to be of the highest quality. My dog seemed particularly interested in the chicken manure, though after everything was mixed in she gave it a passing sniff and lost interest (or maybe that's what she wanted me to believe...) I've also got a lead on composted Horse manure whenever I want it.

With Easter tomorrow, I'm not sure if I'll get any/everything planted, but at least I'm at the stage where I can plant. Now I've just got to figure out what I'm going to use for a trellis. Right now, it looks like conduit & rebar unless I can find something cheaper.

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Re: Planting today

Post  Gena575 on 4/7/2012, 10:15 pm

@bwaynef wrote: My dog seemed particularly interested in the chicken manure, though after everything was mixed in she gave it a passing sniff and lost interest (or maybe that's what she wanted me to believe...) I've also got a lead on composted Horse manure whenever I want it.


It *was* a lot of work, wasn't it?! Whew, I'm glad we don't have to do this every year, that's for sure. Husband and I turned around at one point today and one of my goofy dogs had his head buried in a bag of chicken compost. I briefly worried that it would harm him, but then realized he sometimes eats his *own *uncomposted poo LOL! Dogs are so gross sometimes.

Hopefully you can sneak out and at least get one square planted tomorrow.

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Re: Planting today

Post  bwaynef on 4/9/2012, 10:54 am

I figure I'll post my plan since it looks like it needs to be reworked and I didn't get time to plant this weekend. My primary questions have to do with yield from a few plants.

The strawberry starts I bought and planted into jiffy cups have done nothing. They're dead. I can't afford strawberry plants enough to fill the 4x4 as I'd planned on so I'm stumped. I know that (eventually) strawberries need their own bed since they spread w/ runners. I can probably pick up a few strawberries and plant them out ...and then grow something else in the vacant squares THIS year and come back "full-force" this fall/next year (whenever is optimal for planting strawberries). Or I could just scrap the idea of strawberries this year and plant something else into that box for this year.

I was planning on planting Grn Bell Peppers next to the Red Bell Peppers, but have all but scrapped that idea. I've got lots of other peppers I can grow there ...and green bells are our least favorite. I can substitute a red or yellow for green in anything we eat.

How much should I expect out of 1 Zuke & 1 squash plant? Think a family of 4 w/ 2 kids who like veggies should have more than that?

A couple of notes, the tomato box will be under-planted by the primarily-herb box in orange. Trellises where appropriate, but I didn't feel like working that out in the spreadsheet. North is the top of the page ... minus about 15° CCW. Thoughts?



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Re: Planting today

Post  GWN on 4/9/2012, 11:08 am

I managed to use the vermiculite bags as weed block in the remaining beds.
Curious how that will work OR did you make holes in them? Times I figure I need something really thick.


I was planning on planting Grn Bell Peppers next to the Red Bell Peppers, but have all but scrapped that idea. I've got lots of other peppers I can grow there ...and green bells are our least favorite. I can substitute a red or yellow for green in anything we eat.
I planted lots of peppers last year and the darn things cross polinated and there were plants with all colours of peppers on them
WHICH would have been OK, but we did not like the purple ones and they seemed to be the ones that got cross pollinated the most.

This year I am going to try to separate the peppers a bit more... but you know what bees are like... they DO get around

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Re: Planting today

Post  Hoggar on 4/9/2012, 11:24 am

Last year we bought a 5 pack of Strawberries and planted them in a large pot
I didn't do any thing with them this winter to protect them and there back and
already have a few blossoms.

This is a picture of the garden from last August.


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Re: Planting today

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 4/9/2012, 12:19 pm

Strawberries don't really produce until year 2. So if you wait until next year to plant any, it will probably be the year after that before you see the ability to eat some. If it were me, I'd get a few inexpensive ones and stick them in the bed so that next year you will be able to have some harvest. Smile

I only started with 8 plants last year myself (2 inexpensive 4-packs)...eventually even the everbearing varieties will put out runners and you will have more plants... Smile Mine are Ozark Beauty and Honoeye and I'd say I've got at least double that number now... Smile

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Re: Planting today

Post  Turan on 4/9/2012, 1:00 pm

Nice plan (makes my scrawl on an envelope back look sad)
I would double plant the summer squash /zucchini squares if your family likes that vegetable (mine does). I find that they do not need as much root space as leaf space and two plants together will figure it out. Just make sure the vines go up or over the wall out of the garden and not onto the neighbors.
I love the underplanting plan for the tomatoes. I assume indeterminate varieties and you will keep them pruned hard to one stem. Other ways it will be too over grown and will push out all the herbs. I plan 24X18 per tomato with a thin border of basil in front and allyssum/marigolds under planted. When I tried the basil too close it got pushed out.
cheers

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Re: Planting today

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/9/2012, 4:37 pm

I hear strawberries from seeds are very difficult to grow. I just planted some Alpine Strawberry seeds last week. Too early to know if they do anything. They came from a 'kids planter pot' at Target. I don't know if those seeds are any good or not, but I'm testing them.

If you have small garden store who sells crowns, they are very cheap...$0.39 each or so.

Or if you know someone growing them you could ask for their shoots.

Your plan looks lovely!

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Re: Planting today

Post  WolfHeart on 4/9/2012, 5:31 pm

Nice looking plans!

I have never under-planted in my gardens so don't have much advice there, other than I personally would reduce the numbers of plants you plant with the Toms nine cilantro seems like a lot.

I agree that I would put more summer/zucs in my family loves to stir fry them all year long.

Good luck this year would love to see pics of your set up.

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