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Hello from Maine

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Hello from Maine

Post  tripp04276 on 10/5/2012, 2:39 pm

Hey all,
Just figured I'd say hello. I'm a new gardener and opted for raised beds as a start. With the first growing season behind me I've learned a few things(good and bad) and always searching for more. I'm located in Maine in zone 4b.
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tripp04276

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Location : Maine, 4B

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Re: Hello from Maine

Post  mollyhespra on 10/5/2012, 6:13 pm

glad you\'re here to the forum, fellow newbie & zone 4-er! What did you grow this year?
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mollyhespra

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Location : Waaaay upstate, NH (zone 4)

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Re: Hello from Maine

Post  quiltbea on 10/5/2012, 7:10 pm

Welcome Tripp. Where are you? I'm in Raymond Maine (about 25 miles West of Portland) in zone 5A. Its been fun doing SFG the last few years.
I think you'll find lots of helpful ideas and people here. Its a very active forum.
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quiltbea

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Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

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Re: Hello from Maine

Post  tripp04276 on 10/5/2012, 8:40 pm

I'm in Rumford, just east of Bethel and Newry. This year I had 2-4'x16', 1-4'x14' beds along with 2-4'x4' boxes and 1-3'x3' box and 6-5gal pails. I tried, tried growing huge pumpkins in the 4x4's without luck and in the 3x3 it was suppose to be summer squash and zuchinni but found out they where labeled wrong at the farm stand and ended up being cukes.
The 4x14' had my tomatoes, lettuce(many varietites), cukes, beans, sunflowers, and carrots in it.
One 4x16 contained cabbage, onion, brocoli. The other had potatoes, turnip, radishes.
The 5gal pails where the over flow of tomatoe plants (my wife thought we needed 18). We had our dirt hauled in 2/3 loam 1/3 compost.
For our first year we did ok, learned some valuable lessons(or at least assumptions). It seamed like anything that took a lot of "energy" to grow ie tomatoes, peppers, cukes did not do so well. I contributed it to lack of food and water, possibly some spacing issues also but I think i was pretty conservative on spacing for "energy" anyway.
My potatoe yeild was low, carrots tiny(mostly) and turnips not consistant. I assumed this was a spacing issue, carrots that had room to grow did, as well as the turnips. We planted those from seed and pretty much just sprinkled the out and never really thinned them (our fault). Cabage, brocoli, beans, and lettuce where all great crops for us. At the advise of the "garden pro" app for ipad I think spacing was a little too tight for some things. My onion where all tiny, I had stagered them throughout my brocoli and cabbage and they ended up getting shadded .
I plan on doing a rain water collection system this season to assist with watering. I had some insect issues but not bad, since I only treated one time with Se7en.
I've started a big, 3 bin compost system and hope that helps me get some energy for my garden.
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tripp04276

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Location : Maine, 4B

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Re: Hello from Maine

Post  mollyhespra on 10/6/2012, 10:58 am

WOW, you had a lot going on! Post pics of your garden when you get a chance.

What are you going to do about the "lack of food" issue? Sounds like you've got the water covered with a rain-barrel system planned out, but what about your soil?
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mollyhespra

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Re: Hello from Maine

Post  quiltbea on 10/6/2012, 12:25 pm

Tripp.....Sounds like you jumped in with both feet.
I, too, started mine from Mel Bartholomew's early book with loam, peat moss, and compost with amendments of limestone for nitrogen (N), rock phospate for phosphorus (P), and greensand for potassium (K). My garden does very well.
For me, I found improvement by adding compost, compost, compost. Besides a compost tumbler and pile, I even have a worm condo.
I don't double dig and bring up any more weed seeds than possible and incorporate compost additions mostly into the top 2"-3" of soil.

We love to share our wins and our losses here. We share pics and when we experiment, we share results. Something that works for one may work for another. I hope to see you posting more in future.

Presently I'm eager to convert my beds to Mel's Mix when they start selling it (bagged) locally. I hear Lowe's may carry it in Windham next spring. With my age and back, I'm unable to acquire and mix all the individual ingredients myself. I want the great results found by other SFG'rs here. I plan to add about 6" to the top of my 12" raised beds. Until then, I just keep my soil healthy by adding more and more compost.

A good book you may enjoy reading is "The New Victory Garden" by Bob Thomson of Victory Garden fame. Very good. Also "The Garden Primer" by Barbara Damrosch. They both helped me when I was a new gardener.
Good luck with your garden next spring.
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quiltbea

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Location : Southwestern Maine Zone 5A

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Re: Hello from Maine

Post  tripp04276 on 10/6/2012, 12:51 pm

My feed plan is to add more compost, lots more. I guess I don't have garden pictures. I do have some harvest pictures. I've "hosted" them but I'm not sure where they go??
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tripp04276

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Location : Maine, 4B

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Re: Hello from Maine

Post  quiltbea on 10/6/2012, 1:01 pm

Tripp....If you have pics on your computer, you can click on the 6th icon from the right above this window (image).
Find your pic. Follow the steps. If your picture is too large, you'll have to resize it first. You have to be a member here for about a week I think before the forum allows you to post.
Good luck.

Don't forget to rake up all your fall leaves. They make terrific browns for your compost pile.
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Re: Hello from Maine

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