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my new garden!

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my new garden!

Post  jazzycat on 4/14/2013, 11:06 am

So we've been working like crazy getting the large bed built. It's 12x3 and has mostly tomatoes in it, along with some seeds. Self-watering. Here are pictures of the process. (We have renamed Mel's Mix "Murder Mix" because of all the dreaded sand gnats eating us alive while working with the compost.)

water reservoirs



Frame



Plumbing installed



Murder Mix added



Planting tomatoes



(more to come...)

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Re: my new garden!

Post  jazzycat on 4/14/2013, 11:07 am

That last shot is my amazing, genius lover planting tomatoes. Very Happy

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Re: my new garden!

Post  GWN on 4/14/2013, 11:09 am

what great pictures, what are those green things in the first picture.... I gather they have something to do with plumbing?
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Re: my new garden!

Post  jazzycat on 4/14/2013, 11:13 am

Those are big plastic tubs (storage bins) that are being used for the water reservoirs. We got them at Target. Very Happy

I'll have Michael do a write-up on what he did. There are more pictures of the process in different stages that I will post later.


Last edited by jazzycat on 4/14/2013, 11:15 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: my new garden!

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/14/2013, 11:14 am

How does the water reservoir leech into the soil?

CC
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Re: my new garden!

Post  jazzycat on 4/14/2013, 11:21 am

Here you can see the holes in the bins. The large hole in the middle has a large, dirt wicking column in it, and the smaller holes have cloth wicks, as you can see in the next picture.




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Re: my new garden!

Post  yolos on 4/14/2013, 11:30 am

Hmm. that is interesting. Let us know how it works. What about an overflow hole. How do you know when you have enough water in the container?
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Re: my new garden!

Post  jazzycat on 4/14/2013, 11:52 am

Finished garden. (semi-finished, I should say. Mostly finished.)





container garden (and our mess that we have to clean up. YIKES!)



When I went out this morning, something had been digging. I thought it was one of the cats but there was no cat poo, so I think mabe a squirrel dug up some seeds or something. Looks like something has been out there again. We'll be adding some deer fencing later. I hope that works. It seems kinda flimsy, but we'll see. If I need to I'll add some hoops or something.



Tomatoes for Michael to take back to NC with him when he goes home. I'm sure they're happy to be out of those little cups. Very Happy



We have to put the grids back on. We took them down to add the mulch. I kinda wish we hadn't done that, but oh well. Live and learn. What an amazing process this has been. What a Face

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Re: my new garden!

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/14/2013, 12:00 pm

Everything looks great! And that wicking set up is remarkable. Where did you folks get that idea? Was it a YouTube vid or something?

CC
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Re: my new garden!

Post  jazzycat on 4/14/2013, 12:29 pm

yolos wrote:Hmm. that is interesting. Let us know how it works. What about an overflow hole. How do you know when you have enough water in the container?

Overflow holes...







Kira Cat helping out...



The fill holes will also have gauges in them (wine corks attached to wire or something) that will tell me when they need water.

Fill holes


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Re: my new garden!

Post  jazzycat on 4/14/2013, 12:37 pm

CapeCoddess wrote:Everything looks great! And that wicking set up is remarkable. Where did you folks get that idea? Was it a YouTube vid or something?

CC

Michael has an engineer's mind. (It runs in the family. He's a sound engineer, his father designs stuff for the government and his aunt started Mother Earth News magazine years ago. She has since sold it.) He designs things all the time and can fix almost anything with duct tape and some wire. I showed him a couple of videos/pictures of some self-watering containers and he came up with this idea. He designed the bed (as you can see it's on a slope) so one end is taller than the other (it would good for carrots, but I have tomatoes on that end). He will do a write-up at some point explaining exactly what he did. He's awesome. What a Face

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Re: my new garden!

Post  Pepper on 4/14/2013, 4:45 pm

Neet idea. I am definitely following this to see how the self-watering functions. I also like the 'mulch' Laughing
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Re: my new garden!

Post  jazzycat on 4/14/2013, 5:01 pm

We had a battle of wills about the mulch. He won. He feels mulch is necessary for a self-watering bed to work, and he might very well be right, especially for one this large. I have no idea, but he's pretty dang smart, and he has actually looked into this kind of stuff before.

We went and bought a moisture meter earlier so we could check and see how it's doing, and the bed (and containers) all have plenty of moisture, so it's working. YAY! When we went out this morning to see if the reservoirs needed water, the one on the end with no plants in the last squares didn't need any, but the others did. So the tomatoes are definitely drawing up what they need.

What is a little confusing, however, is the reading on the PH level (on the meter), because around the tomatoes it said alkaline, but in front it read more toward acid. Could the tomatoes change the ph of the soil just by being there? Is this something I should worry about?

On another note, I called Boogie Brew the other day to order an inline water filter for the garden hose (to remove the chlorine), and John Kohler was there. He heard what I said when I was describing what we were doing, and he said if it works, he will come do a video on it. That blows me away. What a Face

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garden update

Post  jazzycat on 4/24/2013, 5:45 pm

So yesterday I finally got all the fruit trees replanted into 15 gallon containers. The blueberry bushes haven't been replanted, because I'm waiting to see how the bokashi thing worked. I dug a trench where I want to plant them several days ago, and after 2-3 weeks it's supposed to be fully broken down into compost, so we shall see. Today I went and strung the tomatoes that are in the raised bed. They are over 2 feet tall now and look amazing. I still have not added water to the reservoirs, and I'm sure the fact that it's rained a couple of times has helped. Anyway. On to the pictures...

I was just going to weave long ways, and then I realized I could also use the hoops to criss cross. Also, some of the leaves are still touching the ground, but there is cedar mulch. Do I need to trim those, or just keep forcing them up? My understanding is that it's the soil that is a problem, and that's why a lot of people use mulch, to keep leaves and veggies off the soil (in addition to holding moisture). There are a couple of plants that have branches at the mulch level. Should I trim them off?






















See how this one branch is coming out right at the mulch level? Trim it, or leave it alone?




Meyer Lemon Tree



Ruby Red Grapefruit Tree (blueberry bush in foreground)



Red Navel Orange Tree



Haas Avocado Tree



Blueberry Bush



Blueberry Bush



Does anyone know these things are on this leaf?
I thought it might be an insect sac, but I wasn't sure if it was beneficial or not, so I didn't want to destroy it.

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Re: my new garden!

Post  jazzycat on 4/24/2013, 7:04 pm

First tomato blossom... YAY! What a Face



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Re: my new garden!

Post  TejasTerry on 4/24/2013, 8:20 pm

jazzycat wrote:

On another note, I called Boogie Brew the other day to order an inline water filter for the garden hose (to remove the chlorine), and John Kohler was there. He heard what I said when I was describing what we were doing, and he said if it works, he will come do a video on it. That blows me away. What a Face

I love my Boogie Brew filters. Have 2 of them. Wow, John Kohler coming to your place??? so awesome. I would be a nervous wreck ! affraid
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Re: my new garden!

Post  jazzycat on 4/24/2013, 11:56 pm

Well, it hasn't happened yet. Very Happy I wanted to wait and be sure everything worked before letting him know. If he does end up coming, I'm sure I will be pretty nervous. Very Happy I love meeting people though. I worked in Hollywood in the entertainment industry for 10 years, so I'm pretty used to meeting celebrities. This is, admittedly, a little different though. Very Happy

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Re: my new garden!

Post  camprn on 4/25/2013, 1:26 pm

Who?

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Re: my new garden!

Post  jazzycat on 4/25/2013, 1:56 pm

John Kohler. He has a channel called "Growing Your Greens" on youtube. I found out about him through people here, on this forum. He has some really informative videos on gardening, and you can get discount deals from various websites on gardening accoutrements if you mention his name/website. I was already familiar with him, because when I bought my juicer last year, I found his videos on juicers. (that's his business, he sells juicers.)

Here is a link to his channel, if you're interested camprn.

http://www.youtube.com/user/growingyourgreens?feature=watch

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Re: my new garden!

Post  camprn on 4/25/2013, 2:14 pm

Oh him, yeah I know his channel. Some good stuff there.

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