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Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

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Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  Mike aka Gunny on 12/23/2012, 5:29 pm

Howdy All,
I'm a retired Marine and now a retired senior, living in the Yuma AZ area. Am new to gardening and will be starting my first when we get back home in a little while. Currently freezing in NY by Lake Erie, anything below 85 is freezing to me. Been in the low, low desert for too long (30 years). I was looking around the web trying to figure out how I could make my poor patch of ground suitable for growing and wasn't looking forward to it. My soil is mostly heavy clay with a ph of 8.5 and a smidgen sand and humus. Every time I found out something to help the soil the dollar signs kept getting higher and higher, but I was determined to make that ground fertile one way or another even if I had to wait a few years for it to settle out. Then I discovered this technique and now am looking forward to getting a garden in shortly. This is one of our growing seasons down there, and summer being none to good for lots of things when temps are 120 plus. So as you can see I'm new to gardening and also new to boards. I'll probably hide in the bush and only jump in when I can contribute something worthwhile. Thank you for inviting me in, am anxious to learn the ins and outs of this stuff.

Mike aka Gunny

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Re: Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  CapeCoddess on 12/23/2012, 5:50 pm

Hey Gunny, good to have you here. happy hi Thank you for all that you've done for this country!

If you are able, we'd love to see photos of your garden being built from beginning to end...it would be like a kind of diary. Read Mel's book if you get a chance. Lots of good tips in there.

Again, welcome and best of luck!

CC

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Re: Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  camprn on 12/23/2012, 6:31 pm

Gunny, glad you\'re here to the SFG Forum.

My advice... go get the book, follow the book and forget about that dirt in your yard. Wink

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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RE: INTRO FROM YUMA AZ (WHILE FREEZING IN NY)

Post  Mike aka Gunny on 12/23/2012, 7:46 pm

Concerning the Book,

Just so you'll know, The Books are in the mail, ordered 'em before joining the group. SFG is the technique I was so happy to find referred to in my intro.

Thank you all for welcome


Last edited by Mike aka Gunny on 12/23/2012, 8:02 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarification)

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Re: Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  oldgrayfox on 12/23/2012, 8:26 pm

welcome gunny and thank you for your sevice to our country. i've only been here a couple of weeks but have picked up quite a bit of information already and in some ways it's been life altering. good luck and i too would like to see pic's as you get started.

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Re: Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  elliephant on 12/24/2012, 10:53 am

Welcome! I grew up in Blythe, so I know Yuma's weather well. People don't believe me when I tell I'm it's not a heatwave until it's over 120. Laughing I remember when I first moved to North Texas, being surprised that they actually were keeping track of how many days over 100 they had.

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Re: Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  cheyannarach on 12/28/2012, 12:42 am

Welcome to the forum! My words of wisdom to you would be to start a compost pile as soon as you can! It will save you money from buying it at the store and be better quality too! Have fun and keep us posted!

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Re: Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  quiltbea on 12/28/2012, 1:20 pm

Welcome to the forum Gunny. Thank you for your service to our country. My husband was ex-Marine during the Korean Conflict so I know many stories of marine training back then.

As for gardening, this is the only way to go. Raise those beds above the ground and build your own soil. I started mine some years ago with garden loam, peat moss, vermiculite, and compost.
I know that compost, compost, compost builds a more fertile soil year after year so a compost pile or two won't hurt and will help the pocketbook a lot.

Use the search feature in the upper left column to zero-in on threads of interest to you. I wish you the best in this new endeavor. It'll keep you happily busy in your retirement.

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Re: Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  Lindacol on 12/28/2012, 2:08 pm

welcome Gunny.
Check out the Regional Forum, Southwestern Deserts. There is lots of good info there for growing in your area.
Here is one interesting thread from the Phoenix area:

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t8738p15-under-a-desert-shade-cloth

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Re: Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  Triciasgarden on 12/28/2012, 10:26 pm

Welcome Gunny and I know this is repetitive but thank you for your service! My husband did a small stint in the Marines! My second to the oldest son was also in the Marines! I visited my sister-in-law a few years back during an Easter weekend and people there were apologizing for the weather being cold. It was shorts weather for me coming from Utah! I think you will love this site and we will all enjoy your comments along with your advice! We get some good discussions going with both!

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Re: Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  FamilyGardening on 12/28/2012, 11:31 pm

glad you\'re here to SFG Gunny!

one thing i wanted to suggest besides starting your own compost pile Very Happy ....is....if you buy any bags of store bought compost you may want to cut down some of the peat moss ratio of your mix while building your Mel's Mix....a lot of us who have bought our compost have found the store bought bags of compost contain a lot of peatmoss, so if you use the 1/3 peat moss 1/3 verm 1/3 compost ( store bought bags) the ratio will be off...

if you are able to ...you may want to check craigs list for free composted manure or take a car ride in your area and see if there are neighbors that may be raising chickens, rabbits, goats, horse's and such and see if you can take some of their animal manure off their hands.....rabbit poo can go straight into your garden but other manures may need to be composted first....so check to see if the manures have been sitting for awhile to determine if you can use them straight away or if you need to add them to your compost pile first.....

we love pictures here so if and when you are able to.... we would love to see how your SFG is growing Very Happy

happy gardening
rose


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Re: Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  Mike aka Gunny on 12/29/2012, 12:10 pm

Again Thank you all for the welcomes.
I have been sitting on a gardener's gold mine all these years and didn't know it until I got the garden bug.
My wife is the founder of a local therapeutic riding program for special needs children called Saddles of Joy (my contribution besides out of pocket support for about 10 years until she incorporated in 2000). She also has a petting farm for the kids. Don't worry, I'll post pix for all of you curious types out there.
This means free horse manure (bout time I got an ROI, LOL).
We have already started the volunteers pilling the manure while we are on a rare vacation of sorts visiting our daughter and her family here in Irving, NY. So that means my work is cut out for me when we get home next week. Building the compost area, then building the boxes for the SFG, etc. We have from well aged to fresh manure all over the place also the manure from the goats and other critters in the petting farm, then there is her aviary which has chickens, peacocks, turkeys, and geese. Like I said, GOLD MINE.
I've been thinking sunken beds to combat the heat. I've got an idea for them to be self watering using the same principle as global buckets. The water table is only about 6-8' at any given time as my home in on a reclaimed river bottom. This will be a fun experiment, but that's for this summer.
You all have fun and have a safe New Year.
Semper Fi

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Re: Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  walshevak on 12/29/2012, 3:17 pm


____________________________

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Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  Mike aka Gunny on 12/29/2012, 7:13 pm

Thanks Kay,
That was an informative thread.
What I have in mind is having a friend come in and play with his tractor and scrape off about 3' of clay. Then take an auger and go down the 3-6' to the water table and install 5-6" pvc. Place wicking in the pvc and then fan it out. Use the clay for the box and fill with MM for about a foot. Do my planting and then mulch heavily to combat the high heat. Who knows, may work. As I said, "interesting experiment."
Thanks again,
Semper Fi

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Re: Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  plantoid on 12/29/2012, 7:14 pm

Hi Mike yet another welcome to the site.

I'm ex forces but UK style.. ANSFG . is good for the soul , heart & setting off as a civillian.

That pile of manures,
If you can get them using real wheat straw in the animals beddings , at the end of composting it down to a more plant friendly state you'll have the pleasure of being able to grow your baby brother into a big brother if you put some in his boots it's that good Wink .
I have a good 60 % content made up of many different creatures droppings and associated bedding in my composts ( 77 cubic mtrs and still producing it )

The spread ot the NPK values of it when composted down a while are very very good for all sorts of crops .

Mike before you go the the expense of the earth works . May I suggest that you use a bucket of water and the pipe & wick above ground to see if it will wick up as you hope .
I don't think it will move enough water that high by capillary action alone and would suggest perhaps you to use a solar panel operated pond pump if you have enough sunshine to lift the water via a small bore semi rigid tube to a low level header tank instead. You can always run excess back down the supply tube by a small overflow pipe .


Last edited by plantoid on 12/29/2012, 7:25 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  camprn on 12/29/2012, 7:15 pm

@Mike aka Gunny wrote:Thanks Kay,
That was an informative thread.
What I have in mind is having a friend come in and play with his tractor and scrape off about 3' of clay. Then take an auger and go down the 3-6' to the water table and install 5-6" pvc. Place wicking in the pvc and then fan it out. Use the clay for the box and fill with MM for about a foot. Do my planting and then mulch heavily to combat the high heat. Who knows, may work. As I said, "interesting experiment."
Thanks again,
Semper Fi

Woah! What a great idea! If you do a test bed, please do take photos to post here on the forum! I would love to see that!

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

Post  Mike aka Gunny on 12/29/2012, 8:15 pm

Unfortunately, plantoid, my wife gave up on bedding as not being cost effective and when she used it, it was wood chips. The program is non-profit, she doesn't even receive pay for what she has done for the last 25 years, The program is strictly volunteer.
For dry matter, I've got arrow weed, bad hay that can't be fed, old mesquite trimmings and a few other odds and ends which will go into the pile.
I just thought of something, I do have a garden of sorts. It's made up of mesquite and bamboo, both of which are edible. I knew of bamboo being edible, but just found out last month that mesquite was edible. Guess we won't starve anytime soon, but what a boring diet, LOL.
My sign used to read "works for horse feed" now its going to read "works for droppings" only not so nice, LOL.
Have fun

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Re: Intro From Yuma AZ (while freezing in NY)

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