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Jay Bird's Garden

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Jay Bird's Garden

Post  Jay Bird on 4/8/2010, 10:02 am

Good Morning fellow SFG'ers! I posted to the welcome mat yesterday and decided to add some details about the garden here in the southern forum this morning. Th following is a list of total sqaures planted with what.
54sq onion @ 9 each = 486 onion sets
70 sq Strawberry @ 4 each = 280 plants, we transplanted these from the orchard
48 sq Tomato @ 1 each = 48 plants, these are mixed variety big boy, cherry, early girl etc.
48 sq Cucumber @ 2 each = 96 plants 12 of which were already started purchased at Lowes, the rest are seeds
132 sq Purple Hull Pea @ 4 each = 528 plants , We love purple hulls I expect two crops
24 sq Okra @ 1 each = 24 plants, my normal raised wide bed was double this but SFG means more per plant I may make another 4x12 just for Okra we will see
In process 2 each 2' x 12' Melon boxes to be grown on trellis.

Total sqaures to date 400

I built my boxes out of 2x8 #2 wolmanized ( yea I know chemicals leach out but I wrapped the interiors with clear plastic, in texas not much else holds up and I want these boxes to last forever) I used regular weed stop fabric on the bottoms and since I am a electrician by trade I bought 1/2" EMT and bent the conduit for the top rail and used couplings on the legs. I bought some 2" x 4" sqaure welded wire fencing and tied it to the conduit I couldnt find any of the netting as Mels recommends. I ripped 5/4 deck boards to 1/2" thick for the grids.

The SFG boxes occupy about 1/3 of my last year garden space and I have my fingers crossed that I will harvest 1/3 more yield with half the labor.
I will post some pictures in a day or so,,

I utilize Guineas and chickens for weed and bug control as well as the chicken coop is the main source of compost, we mix in autumn yard leaves with the chicken litter. And let set over winter.
I purchased the vermiculite at Mulberry Creek nursery in Paris for $22 a 4 CF bag as well as that is where I got the peat moss.

Note : we sell fresh veggies at the farmers market and what dosent sell get canned by my lovely wife and sold as pickles etc. Point is garden pays for its self, in these trying times we got to cut every corner.

We started gardening and chicken farming about three years ago (row crop) we also planted Pomegranate's(they grow well in texas) , blackberries, blueberries, and muscedines. The home grown method was our attempt to fight the grocery stores high prices for fresh veggies.

If all works out well I will be SFG gardening in a greenhouse this coming winter Yahoo!!! garden year round.
Happy Gardening
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Re: Jay Bird's Garden

Post  timwardell on 4/8/2010, 10:22 am

Wow JayBird,
You are livin' the SFG dream with garden that size - and a greenhouse to garden year-round. I'm jealous! Shocked
Is this your first year to SFG? What made you switch from row gardening (I mean besides all the weeds, hard work, and sweat)?

Looking forward to the pics as yours is one of the larger SFGs among those on the forum at this point.
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Re: Jay Bird's Garden

Post  Jay Bird on 4/8/2010, 10:36 am

Well Tim, I switched to SFG because, Due to the recession I was laid off and sold my tractor and tiller attachment. No way would I even attempt to till with the walk behind. Then I was at books a million and found Mel's new book. A godsend it was, since now I can garden without the expense of a tractor and yes the lack of hard work weeding sweating yada yada makes it a plus. I remember last year crawling thru the bamboo teepee trellis's weeding the cucumber on hands and knees getting eat alive by fire ant's NO MORE! hipee! My wife is excited as well as she was planting last weekend she continued to remark at how much easier it was to plant in the beds.

Some day when I have more $ I want to lay flat flagstone in between the boxes so my rows will be dirt free!
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Re: Jay Bird's Garden

Post  Jay Bird on 4/8/2010, 11:12 am

Just a comment I forgot to mention , My wife decided that she could plant sqaush 1 per sqaure 12 in a row!!! I told her it was way to many. I will send pics of the jungle as they come up. I have a bet with her that she will be thinning in 30 days.

I dont know why she wont listen to me , I read the book!
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Re: Jay Bird's Garden

Post  boffer on 4/8/2010, 11:22 am

@Jay Bird wrote:My wife decided that she could plant sqaush 1 per sqaure 12 in a row!!! I told her it was way to many. I will send pics of the jungle as they come up. I have a bet with her that she will be thinning in 30 days. I dont know why she wont listen to me , I read the book!

Your wife has been talking to my wife! What a squash disaster we had last year. We squished more squash stepping on them while harvesting, than we were able to pick and eat! lol!
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Re: Jay Bird's Garden

Post  timwardell on 4/8/2010, 2:32 pm

@Jay Bird wrote:Just a comment I forgot to mention , My wife decided that she could plant sqaush 1 per sqaure 12 in a row!!! I told her it was way to many. I will send pics of the jungle as they come up. I have a bet with her that she will be thinning in 30 days.
I dont know why she wont listen to me , I read the book!
YIKES! I made that mistake last year. This year the yellow summer squash are getting 6 squares each and the zucchini get 9 each! Yes, that's a lot of real estate but I'm doin' it by the book.

So do you have that nice East Texas sandy loam in Mount Vernon or are you far enough north that you still have a bit of black clay? I've got relatives in Palestine so I know East Texas' red dirt and sandy soil pretty well.
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Re: Jay Bird's Garden

Post  Jay Bird on 4/8/2010, 2:44 pm

Mostly red clay under the box ! but now i rely totally on mels mix no more soil amendment worries
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Re: Jay Bird's Garden

Post  Jay Bird on 4/8/2010, 4:02 pm

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Re: Jay Bird's Garden

Post  timwardell on 4/8/2010, 5:04 pm

I can't wait to see what it looks like when it's all grown up. Shocked
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Re: Jay Bird's Garden

Post  camprn on 4/8/2010, 5:49 pm

@Jay Bird wrote:Good Morning fellow SFG'ers! I posted to the welcome mat yesterday and decided to add some details about the garden here in the southern forum this morning. Total sqaures to date 400
Shocked

Yup, that's quite impressive! Very Happy
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Re: Jay Bird's Garden

Post  boffer on 4/8/2010, 8:17 pm

@Jay Bird wrote:Just a comment I forgot to mention , My wife decided that she could plant sqaush 1 per sqaure 12 in a row!!! I told her it was way to many. I will send pics of the jungle as they come up. I have a bet with her that she will be thinning in 30 days.

I dont know why she wont listen to me , I read the book!

Here's 5 spaghetti squash in a 1x8 row-and they weren't done growing yet!

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Re: Jay Bird's Garden

Post  CPN on 4/10/2010, 10:50 pm

Hi. Did you plant your tomato plants every 1 square foot?

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Re: Jay Bird's Garden

Post  Jay Bird on 4/11/2010, 8:58 am

CPN<
Yes my tomatoes are one per square, I will maintain a single stem pruning method by removing all those suckers. We planted all indeterminante except for two goliath bush varieties and I put thos in the corners. I planted the goliath wednesday last week (bought at Lowes) and they had blooms, Looked at them yesterday and we now have a marble size tomato on each plant WOW!!

The Purple hulls have all broken thru , the cucumbers have started peeking thru all the plants already started have done well in transplant I am really excited.

Went to lowes and purchased another 300' of 1/2" EMT and couplings got all that installed and have started attacheing the weld wire, I hope to finish the trellis's this afternoon after church.

There has been alot of activity about blackberries on the forum, here are my comments we have about 150 linear feet of Thorned and 100' of thornless
Blackberry weeding and runner policing is a huge amount of work I believe that a 2' wide by however long box would be the excellent choice for any new plants simply because it is so hard to keep the grass out of conventional rows. I will post some pics of the blackberry patch the pics will be worth ten thousand words.
Since most thorned blackberries are vining the conduit trellis will be the way to go, I have made my own lumber trellis by ripping lumber down to 3/4" x 3/4" the problem is the wood warps and the nails rust and break, hence I will be replacing 150 feet of trellis this year. I also tried using bamboo since it was free but it dosent look very good and its difficult to attach together much less getting the vines to stay put,, such my opinion on blackberries.

Just another neat tidbit, I have a leanto with clear plastic corrugated roofing, we wrap the lean to in the spring for a small temp greenhouse, well last year I kept sveral potted cherry tomatoes under the roof thru summer, the chickens took up daytime residence under the roof as well and ate as many of the cherry tom's as we did. Well Friday my wife and I were potting some muscedine cutting and we found 3 volunteer cherry tomato plants in a corner where the balck plastic didnt cover all the dirt, I was flbergasted all the hard work , worry and care I give to seedlings in the house and here are 3 beutiful 6" tall cherry plants, MMM ! well they are now in 4" pots waiting their turn to get put in the SFG playground
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Re: Jay Bird's Garden

Post  CPN on 4/11/2010, 9:32 am

Great!!! I have gotten mixed messages about the spacing. Of course, SFG book says plant every square. But there are some that say it is too close (even when pruned, maybe) and promotes disease, pest, etc... ALLL of which we have in HOT Alabama. This is my first year doing SFG and when I got the tomato plants in there I just couldnt imagine them having enough space. ALthough, I have never pruned the suckers, so MAYBE that will make the difference.

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