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The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

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The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  kat51415 on 4/16/2012, 1:08 am

This will be my photo journal of our SFG adventure. We spent a week at home over the Easter holiday and got the ball rolling. Our first day home, we went to Lowe's and got what we could there because it was closer to home than Tulsa. We severely overloaded our little trailer and had to stop and re-load it to distribute the weight more evenly for the 72 mile trip home.



The next day, we took a 150 mile road trip to Tulsa to pick up the rest of the composts and vermiculite to make our Mel's Mix. I forgot to take pictures of that load. Embarassed

OK so 2 days down in our week at home, just getting ingredients for Mel's Mix. The boxes were already built and waiting. Now it was time to start getting the location ready. We had a long row garden in this spot last year but it didn't do well for a variety of reasons, but mainly because no one was there to care for it during critical times. Here are some "Before" shots:







The garden plot is approx 70'x70'. The whole fenced in area is more like 70'w x 100' d.
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The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  kat51415 on 4/16/2012, 1:23 am

Last year, the bunnies had a buffet so this year, Dave contrived a plan to foil their free meals. He wanted a ditch dug completely around the garden. We zip tied chicken wire to the existing fence and let the bottom of it rest in the trench. We then backfilled the trench. It was alot of work, but worth it, I hope. We shall see. Here are bunny trench/fence photos.



The first step for me was to receive instruction in the fine art of operating a Mantis tiller. What a lil workhorse it is!



My work crew consisted of me and Dave, my kids and grandkids and my nephew.



The bounty of the bunny trench was Anaconda-sized nightcrawlers, none of which could be found inside the garden fence...suspicious, huh?



A close-up of the finished bunny fence/trench. Yes, those zip tie ends are gonna stay poking out to discourage those critters even more. I'll let you know if it works or not...LOL!
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The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  kat51415 on 4/16/2012, 2:09 am

We have a new double wide garden gate and 2 new arbors complete with trellises, courtesy of my handy hubby!



I have "Scarlet Runner" green beans to climb the trellis netting on both arbors. Should be pretty. There will be nasturtiums against the fence and completely surrounding the garden plot. Inside the nasturtiums, there will be a row of marigolds. The flower border will only be broken by the two arbors.



This is our first compost bin. Its filled with grass clippings. Behind it, the trailer is filled with mostly camel poop, but also includes horse, goat, and llama. We are blessed to have it!
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The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  kat51415 on 4/16/2012, 3:07 am

The whole garden plot has been tilled. The bunny trench/fence has been dug, secured and backfilled. Both arbors have been built and set. One has been trellised. The boxes were built the last time we were home. Now its time for the fun: mixing the Mel's Mix!



Our 10 boxes are 4'x4'x1'. We tried a 3 box batch the first time. We mixed the composts in the back of one of our pickups with the Mantis. Then we put the vermiculite, peat and the compost on a tarp on the concrete floor of the shop and worked it with the Mantis.





It mixed well but the tarp got chewed up by the tiller. That's when we had an epiphany and built another box for the other pickup.



Here are the kids moving that heavy first batch from the shop floor to the pickup.
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The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  kat51415 on 4/16/2012, 3:21 am

All the boxes had been moved to the garden after it was tilled. Once the MM was finished, we placed the boxes and filled them.



This view is looking through the 2nd arbor on the opposite side of the garden. The boys placed and levelled the boxes. Dave trucked the MM from the shop to the garden gate. From there, the boys shovelled it into a wheelbarrow then filled the boxes with it, wetting it down by layers. Since my planting schedule doesn't start til this weekend, they covered the boxes with black plastic sheeting to protect against weed seeds and to maintain moisture.



These are the 4 circles in production. When finished, 2 will hold strawberries and 2 will have jalapenoes. Dave came up with the idea of building them out of that bathroom wallboard after we couldn't find any pre-fab round containers the right size. We got all 4 built, 1 set and the ground levelled for the second one. My son will have to get the rest of it done plus trellis net the 2nd arbor. We ran out of time...again...sigh.



Here is another angle of the boxes and the circles.
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The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  kat51415 on 4/16/2012, 3:42 am

This is the link to our Spring/Summer garden plan. I AM NOT CHANGING IT AGAIN!

http://www.growveg.com/garden-plan.aspx?p=228020



This is the area where the cukes and squash go. The long strings to the right represent 2 rows of Sunflowers and black eyed peas planted together. This is also the northern end of the garden. The whole garden gets 8 good hours of sun a day. In late evening, it gets a little shady but that's not necessarily a bad thing where we live.



This is the other end of the above area. This will be where the corn and potatoes are planted, along with the other end of the long sunflower/black eyed pea row. I'm trying my best to companion plant. If anyone sees anything goofy with any of these plans, please speak up now! It's not in the ground yet...



This is a longer distance view of the whole plot. Eventually, the ugly little garden shack will transform into a swan of a storage shed. There will be a greenhouse to the right of it and a little patio area for resting complete with table & chairs.



Another reason for the patio furniture is the view from our garden. I could sit in the garden and stare at this view all day long. I love our home and we were blessed of God to be given such a beautiful place to end our days in. More photos to come in about 6 weeks...when we get back home off the road. Hope you enjoyed them!
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Re: The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  Chopper on 4/16/2012, 3:59 am

Right now I have no other words but...WOW. Shocked

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Re: The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  Ha-v-v on 4/16/2012, 7:59 am

@Chopper wrote:Right now I have no other words but...WOW. Shocked

+me
I will add Gorgeous!
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Re: The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/16/2012, 8:03 am

WoW! That's going to be quite the garden

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Re: The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  mschaef on 4/16/2012, 8:44 am

I'm jealous!!!!
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Re: The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  dixie on 4/16/2012, 9:07 am

Ditto on "WOW". It looks like you had a great work crew. I'm really impressed how you used the bed of your truck for mixing.

Aren't you amazed at your Mantis tiller? I couldn't live without mine. It 's the best Christmas gift I've ever received.
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Awesome!

Post  CharlesB on 4/16/2012, 9:20 am

Really awesome! Love all the pics.
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Re: The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  kittykat on 4/16/2012, 10:14 am

Holy guacamole!! WHAT a place! Please do update us as to your progress!

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Re: The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  littlesapphire on 4/16/2012, 2:58 pm

That looks like an amazing garden! You're WAY more ambitious than I am. I thought I was doing hard work by building, mixing, and filling my two new 4x4 and one 1x16 boxes myself. But that's child's play compared to what you've been up to! Keep the pictures coming. They're great!
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Thx Everybody!

Post  kat51415 on 4/17/2012, 1:33 pm

Really appreciate all the flowers from the forum! We had to do a big garden because, as you can see, we've got a big family. Although they don't all live with us, they come when we are home off the road so its just about the same thing! They all feel some ownership in The Garden now, after slaving away on it together. Memories were made that the grandchildren will have til they are grandparents. My son and daughter-in-law are planting the first plants today. They have promised to send photos so I can keep up the journal. Very Happy



The first batch of home grown compost is about ready!



Here is a pic of the first plant in a box in The Garden. It's either a Brandywine or Martin's Roma tomato.
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The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  kat51415 on 4/18/2012, 1:15 pm

The first circle got planted yesterday! So glad it held up to the wet MM. We weren't sure that it would because that was some flexible wallboard.



The plants on the outside are Traveller Jalapenoes. The plants in the middle are Brandywine and Martin's Roma tomatoes, two of each. I'm betting the tomatoes will be hot. The kids say, "Yay, perfect for salsa!" All are heirlooms. More pics to come as soon as my son gets them sent. So excited to see plants in the squares and circles!sunny
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Re: The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  kbb964 on 4/18/2012, 1:41 pm

What an awesome Vegetable garden !
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Re: The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  RUTBUSTER on 4/18/2012, 3:33 pm

That sure is an ambitious plan. It looks great. Keep us posted on the pictures and good gardening.
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Some new photos

Post  kat51415 on 4/30/2012, 2:31 pm

These are some new shots my son just sent me. We have green babies in the garden! These are mostly in the boxes and the tomatoes were started indoors. This is so exciting!



These are tiny little Danvers carrot babies! They are in MM in a SFG box.



These are either mustard or collard greens. These are growing directly in the soil amended with peat and compost.



These are tomatoes and onions that were started indoors and are now living in a SFG box in MM.



These are the turnip greens in their SFG box.



This is one of the SFG circles freshly filled with MM but not planted yet. For some reason, the butterflies swarmed it. We used some of our own compost in this circle. Could they be loving the camel poo?



Speaking of the compost, the original bin is on the right, the newer bin on the left. My son is now keeping a "Poo Journal" and experimenting with adding different amounts of our exotic poo mixture to the grass clippings and leaves and household trimmings. The second batch has progressed much more quickly than the first. I think that the first batch is now residing in the MM in the butterfly circle (see above).
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New Photos from 4/30 and 5/9: PROGRESS!

Post  kat51415 on 5/9/2012, 9:50 pm



This is the bell pepper and carrot box on 4/30.



This is the first circle of jalapenoes and tomatoes on 4/30.



This is one of the tomato and onion boxes on 4/30.



The strawberry sets came in! This is the first strawberry circle on 4/30. The green is new growth after only three days in the MM. These are either Ozark Beauty or Earliglow.



These are the two rows of potatoes in the ground, Kennebec and Yukon Gold. Last year, we had vines but no fruit. We hope we do a little better this year.



This is the third photo posted of this box. It is amazing how much growth has occurred in just one week. This one is from 5/9. The last one was from 4/30. Wow!
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Re: The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  camprn on 5/9/2012, 9:52 pm

Looking very good! I bet the butterflies were thirsty. That MM looks pretty moist. Very Happy

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Thanks Camprn!

Post  kat51415 on 5/9/2012, 10:12 pm

Looking very good! I bet the butterflies were thirsty. That MM looks pretty moist.

The kids must have taken me at my word that you have to get it good and soaked when you first put it in the box! Nothing was planted in it that day so all's well. I didn't think about the water content and the butterflies. Bet you're right!
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Re: The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  GWN on 5/9/2012, 11:13 pm

what a beautiful garden, and it is especially special,that the whole family is involved.
cool family and cool garden
I am excited for further pictures.
What a great experience for the grand children
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Re: The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  cheyannarach on 5/10/2012, 10:23 am

@GWN wrote:what a beautiful garden, and it is especially special,that the whole family is involved.
cool family and cool garden
I am excited for further pictures.
What a great experience for the grand children

+1
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Re: The Garden at Ft. Tracy + Photos

Post  littlesapphire on 5/10/2012, 10:25 am

Kat, your garden is making great progress! I really love those round gardens.
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