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newbe SFG in Georgia

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newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  Pepper on 4/28/2012, 11:39 pm

My nic here and most everywhere on the net is pepper. This is my first year gardening, I used to help my wife with the ground prep for her row gardens. Last fall I began researching gardening methods. Eventually I found Mel's book the rest is old news.

This spring I launched what I believe will be a life long journey in gardening. I built my "tater tires" http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t11554-tater-tires . Funny thing is I thought I was planting "New Potatoes". You know the old saying 'plant on Valentines-eat em on Easter'. Them Red Pontiac's have not bloomed yet but are still looking good.

Thinking like the rookey I am, thought Good Friday was when my boxes should be ready. I then began my four boxes: 4 ft by 8 ft each 12 inches deep. By now I have realized MM is EXPENSIVE stuff and I need almost 5 yards. During the fall I flopped making compost. I unknowingly let the rain drown my 5 bales of mulched leaves compost. I opted for a localy made compost material. Any who enough 'fluff' on to the pics:

I dug the sod up from under the boxes and loosened the dirt a full shovel depth



Repeated the proceedure for all four boxes then leveled and filled


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newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  Pepper on 4/28/2012, 11:56 pm

I decided to number the beds 1 thru 4 starting the nearest to the house as #1 it has : rutabagas; cabbage; kohlrabi; iceburg, butter crunch and romaine lettices; and Ga sweet onions (planting date 18 Mar 2012)



#2 has ten tomatoes: 4 rutgers; 4 homestead; a Cherokee Purple; a Sweet 100 cherry; with cherry radish and chantenay carrots between rows ( these I will repetitive plant a few weeks apart)


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newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  Pepper on 4/29/2012, 12:17 am

#3 has : a hill of crook neck squash; a hill of Black Beauty zuccini; a hill of straight neck squash; the entire back row of squares have burpless cucumbers( now trellised)



#4 has: 6 peppers(sweet banna, red bell, yellow bell, chili red hot, cubanelle sweet, and cayenne) all on the front row; I am afraid I over did the pole beans Kentucky wonder and blue lake (each have 3by4 squares densely planted in rows spaced 4 inches apart)[this picture was on Apr 1]



I will post more pics of progress at a later date

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Looking good!

Post  kgooding on 4/29/2012, 8:08 pm

So what ended up happening with your potatoes in the tires? I planted mine in Roswell GA not long before Easter and they are looking great but haven't flowered yet. As a newbie I'm very curious as to when they will flower in my hilled 12" deep boxes. I can't wait to have fresh ones straight from the garden like when I was a kid. I'm trying to convince hubby to let me put in some tire potatoes for next year to free up some room in my boxes, but the only place I have for them is in the driveway, and I don't think he's going to go for that plan. The Mel's mix is a bit cost prohibitive, I did it exactly as per the book and am having good luck (I'm also a newbie) but I do know that it's been discussed in the past to modify the recipe a bit with more compost and less vermiculite to cut down on the cost. If you have the tires but passed up on planting potatoes this spring it might be something to look into. Also, I'm not sure if it will work here but I'm planning on trying to get a second crop in come fall so you might want to read up on that and think about going for it then! Good luck! Looks great!

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newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  Pepper on 4/29/2012, 11:01 pm

Thanks kgooding. The taters are still growing, the plants anyway, still don't know about the results. The pictures are among the first taken after planting transplants. The 4th bed was after the beans sprouted from seed about two weeks. I have more pics to post I ran out of time last night. I am getting mixed results opting out of MM. Some things are good others not so much. I will be replacing the soil to MM as I can. Smile Laughing Smile

I don't know if you have heard about a Julian calendar; every day of the year is sequentialy numbered; it will help you calculate harvest dates. Just find the number for the planted on date add the matures in days number convert back into normal calendar date . Most seed and plant providers give you the days to maturity/harvest info. Get you one here:

http://gapsmallfarmsnc.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/julian-calendar.pdf



Altough we are not that far apart the difference is significant in tempature differences. There are alot of things we both can grow even in winter. Check out the "hoop" cover/houses you see all the time on this forum. I hope to have crops of some kind year round. bounce



Best of luck with your garden, keep in touch esp with pictures of your progress.

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  Chopper on 4/29/2012, 11:32 pm

Just out of curiosity, how are you marking your grid? I did not see anything, but sometimes string is not visible in the pics.

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newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  Pepper on 4/29/2012, 11:50 pm

Pictures from this morning updating progress.

Chopper : I do not have string, I have marked the boards. This first planting it was easy to mark the soil into grids; I expect to add string during later plantings. Really I was in too big of a hurry.

bed1 Yesterday I picked a large bowl of butter crunch and romaine lettice first fruits! This bed is doing good. Even with the cabbage worms which I "fixed" this afternoon.





bed 2 The radish and carrots are finally perking up.

bed3 I think the squash and cukes do not like the local replacment mix, or the plants were too 'leggy' when planted. My neighbors squash make mine look like dwarfs

bed4 The beans are 'jumpin' my dense planting problem is starting to rear its head.

Tater tires still no flowers at 72 days they are nearing the 80 to 100 day window

My trellises

More later

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  givvmistamps on 4/30/2012, 12:22 am

Your garden is looking good Pepper! I'll tell you, my squash looked to be growing really slow right after popping their heads out of the soil...until a few days ago when they suddenly exhibited explosion growth rates! Shocked So, don't give up on them yet.

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  Turan on 4/30/2012, 12:27 am

@Pepper wrote:

Chopper : I do not have string, I have marked the boards. This first planting it was easy to mark the soil into grids; I expect to add string during later plantings. Really I was in too big of a hurry.


Me too. I like it better just marking the boards. It makes it easier to morph things as needed and to clean, dig ,add etc. I figure it is not geometry class Razz

Your garden looks lovely. I am waiting to hear how the potatoes do

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newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  Pepper on 4/30/2012, 12:40 am

Thank you givvmistamps everything in this bed squash and cukes were really leggy when I planted them. I am really regretting not using the MM, I just could not handle 5 yards of it this time around.

Turan the first planting was easy cause I marked the soil. I have added new seed plantings 'tween the other plants I guess I "morph" too

lol!

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  KDeus on 4/30/2012, 9:51 am

Your garden looks great! I'm lovin' the bean trellis!

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  littlesapphire on 4/30/2012, 10:31 am

Holy cow, look at all those beans! Lol! Good luck with them. I had trouble using all my pole beans last year, and I only planted two squares Laughing your garden looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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bean trellises

Post  Pepper on 5/1/2012, 2:31 pm

Thank you KDeus and littlesapphire.

littlesapphire: I am hoping I have not planted too many; afraid being so thick they will not get enough sun to amount to anything. Really could use some input with what to do next with them( thin???? need a method please, or just leave alone as a test???).

KDeus: I guess I could show a pic of the top. I used 3/4 EMT (it fits inside the 3/4 pvc;sometimes you have to knock a short piece through the 4way connectors). For the elbow I used 3/4 Rigid/EMT "outside corner pull through"; it has the screw lock needed for the EMT.

I used 3/4 pvc as a spreader between the EMT cross poles. It is a "T" on each end;a "4"way in the middle with whatever length pipes between. I made all the poles movable. I cut off the tall EMT to 8 foot lengths, using the short piece as a guide( drove into the ground). I then used a 5/8 ground rod (EMT fits nicely over it)driven into the ground(app 3 ft) to hold the EMT which I slid over the rod. Funny thing happened the short piece went down WITH the rod; it also came back up easily with it too! It is 'fun' to get the dirt out of the piece but I started cutting a 3 ft piece for each rod. Now if I need to move the trellis to another location, I can move it easily. The short piece (3 ft length) supports the weight of the main pole. Since it is 3/4 in I believe it will work for all trellis applications. The wire is 2in by 4in mesh 4 ft tall I used plastic zip ties to attach to the assembled top.

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  jm_kerr on 5/19/2012, 4:42 am

Wow!
I love those trellises! As an ex Commercial and Industrial Electrician I should
have no problem recreating something similar.
Smile


Could even cover with shade material in excessive heat or plastic during
frosts. Very cool.
Cool


Newbie here too. I will be starting my boxes soon for next spring. Maybe two
boxes for a fall Garden this year.


Did you build that "tire potato garden" up from the ground one tire at
a time?

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  Goosegirl on 5/19/2012, 5:24 am

Looking good, Pepper!

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  Pepper on 5/19/2012, 1:45 pm

Goosegirl. I just wish I had used MM, the beds are not as productive as they look.



jm_kerr the tater tires were built up from the first tire then up as the plants grew. Documented here http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t11554-tater-tires . The mistake was I did not know potatoes could be determinate OR indeterminate! I am afraid I got the determinate variety so........ all the height will be for nought. They will only produce within 6 inches of the 'seed' potatoe. The tires were my first planting.

much have I learned, much more is what I must still learn. lol!

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  VJ72584 on 5/19/2012, 2:48 pm

I have planted my first SFG this year. I did not try to plant any potatoes, but thought I would try it next year. How do you know if they are determinate or indeterminate? I saw someone online who had planted them in small fence cages with straw around the outside and dirt and potatoes in the middle. Straw used to keep the dirt inside. Then you would add more dirt and straw as needed.

I hope to get a second box for next year. Right now I have tomatoes, cucumber, broccoli, carrots, and southern field peas. The lettuce and spinach had gone to seed so I just pulled them out. Definitely a learning process.

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  walshevak on 5/19/2012, 6:00 pm

Here is a link to a company that sell seed potatos and lists the varieties by early, mid season and late potatos. As I understand it , mid season and late potatos are the "indeterminates" and will continue to grow potatos as you mound up the soil. Early potatos are the "determinates" that only produce potatos in the initial layer of soil.

Kay

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  Pepper on 5/19/2012, 8:58 pm

VJ72584 to the forum. Sounds like you got of to a good start. My taters were a way to start early before I got my beds in place. When I read Mel's book I realized how late I was in preparation. I do believe Kay gave you the answer about potato types, I have not found a better answer. I am looking forward to seeing your progress. Seems we have a common problem my Leaf Romaine and some of my Butter Crunch lettuces have bolted. My trouble is what to plant now, I did not prepare by growing seed to transplant.

Kay!!! You ROCK

much have I learned, much more is what I must still learn.

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  Pepper on 5/19/2012, 9:39 pm

Now for my weekly update

Bed 1 romaine is bolting as is some of the butter crunch. Cabbage worms are back in check after last weekends rains, the kohlrabi took a beating. Cabbage and rutabagas doing OK. onions are not really developing.

Bed 2 tomatoes are getting better

Bed 3 The squash are really small, the one on the left had a real bad case of Powery mildew (PM). None of the squash are doing what I think they should be doing even with the nitrogen deficiency. My neighbor has the same soil and his were from the same 4pack; they fill the end of a bed completely.

Bed 4 I got beans!!! The peppers are still slow, probally normal with these cool nights. The 'thick' planted beans are producing.

The beans Blue Lake

and the Kentucky Wonder

taters are about 89 days looking sick just like they should, or so I have been told and

much have I learned, much more is what I must still learn.

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  cheyannarach on 5/19/2012, 9:45 pm

Awesome pics pepper, thanks for sharing!!

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  Cptdragn on 5/20/2012, 12:58 am

@Pepper wrote:Now for my weekly update


Bed 3 The squash are really small, the one on the left had a real bad case of Powery mildew (PM). None of the squash are doing what I think they should be doing even with the nitrogen deficiency. My neighbor has the same soil and his were from the same 4pack; they fill the end of a bed completely.


Try a mix of 40% milk and 60% water in a spray bottle. Coat the leaves well. I have friends that swear by this cure for PW on most plants.

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A note on lettuce and spinach

Post  jdepce on 5/20/2012, 2:56 pm

The lettuce and spinach had gone to seed so I just pulled them out. Definitely a learning process.[/quote]

This year I tried a trick I read online for leaf lettuce and it seems to be working. Instead of pulling them out when they seed, just cut the top off about 2 1/2" above the ground. Do this before they seed. My lettuce is now in the process of resprouting and all I had to do was add a little fertilizer and a small sunscreen because I live in central Florida. They're doing great.
As a replacement for spinach last year, I added a 5' high piece of fence, I planted Malabar spinach. It tastes like spinach and is high in iron but is a thornless vine.

Kitty

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  Pepper on 5/20/2012, 10:42 pm

to the forum Cptdragn. I had already put Neem on this bed. Thank you for the home remedy, I will have to look deeper into it.

jdepce also to the forum. Unfortunately it was already getting bitter, so harvested all those that have bolted.

Well the squash at the left end, the one I had to butcher before treating; is no more the PM had returned even after a soaking with Neem. It looked like it also had SVB damage. Replaced it today with a three plant pot. This time I wrapped each stem with aluminum foil from below the soil to the first leaves. Also added a similar pot of zucchini. Have not plucked the zukes yet still watching this hill; it has not flurished as it should so may have SVB too.

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

Post  Pepper on 5/28/2012, 8:20 pm

Time for an update. Bed 1 has lost a row of lettuce, I got behind with the BT so the kohlrabi leaves are looking bad, cabbage and rutabagas are hanging tough. url=https://servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=54&u=17430354][/url]

Bed 2 tomatoes are looking better. The cherokee purple is all but lost, I accidently broke the main sten instead of the sucker.

Bed 3 The squash on the left that had the worst case of PM is no more in it's place is a new straight neck squash. This will probally be the same for all the other squash in this bed. I think SVB has had the best of them growth just is not what it should be. Hopefully SVB is past for this year.

Bed 4 The peppers are begining to thrive since the temps are up. Beans seem somewhat anaemic but have began producing; this morning I started Camprn's suggested compost tea solution.

Tater tires before harvesting.

Added a new bed altough it is my fifth it's number will be bed 6. I put this one in first to make access easier to put in the MM.

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Re: newbe SFG in Georgia

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