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Adventures in Table Top

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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  ralitaco on 4/16/2015, 11:41 pm

Just an update.
I found some 3/4" wood caps to plug the holes where I had drilled to install the conduit.


I even got a chance to put on some paint before the rain.
 

And I made a grid out of extra 2" blind slats. Right now it's just sitting on top, but once I mix in the compost I will push it down a bit. 


I also picked up some bags of the NuLeaf compost. I was going to post some pictures but the rain came.
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  yolos on 4/17/2015, 7:38 am

ralitaco wrote:
yolos wrote:The major difference in terms of where to plant the beans, pole beans grow 5 - 10 feet high depending on the variety and need a trellis.  Bush beans don't need a trellis, just something around the squares to keep the bush beans from falling over into adjacent squares.

Wow 10' high!!! I would love to see that. 
Can they go up and then back down or just up?

My trellis is 8 feet tall.  The rattlesnake beans reached the top and got all tangled up on top of the trellis.  I had three trellises in a two foot wide bed.  Way over kill.   At the top, my netting stretched from one side of the box to the other so the vines did not come back down, they all tangled up at the top.  This year I removed the middle trellis and the netting on the top, so I hope they will come back down.  Many people say the vines do come back down toward the ground.  Here is a picture of my rattlesnake beans last summer.

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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  ralitaco on 4/17/2015, 7:47 pm

Wow YOLOS, that is AWESOME!!
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  littlesapphire on 4/17/2015, 8:49 pm

Oh my goodness, Yolos, what huge beans you have!  Beautiful picture.  Makes me wish I had more room so I could try something like that!  As for beans climbing back down, I've never had mine do that ever.  I think they're programed to climb up and that's it!  Usually mine twine around each other for a couple of feet above the trellis!
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  ralitaco on 4/17/2015, 9:07 pm

littlesapphire wrote:...As for beans climbing back down, I've never had mine do that ever.  I think they're programed to climb up and that's it!...
DARN. My TT is already up of the ground about 3' so I was hoping I could train them to come back down. I guess I could try with one of them...that is presuming I ever get them planted AND they actually grow.
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  littlesapphire on 4/17/2015, 9:16 pm

Talitaco, you might try letting them hang down...?  It's worth a shot.  I know some people let their beans vine on the ground, although that seems like an invitation to slugs.  Then again, I doubt you have slugs in your TT! Also, another idea is to trim them.  My experience with tipping bean vines is that they send out side shoots.
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  yolos on 4/17/2015, 9:17 pm

ralitaco wrote:
littlesapphire wrote:...As for beans climbing back down, I've never had mine do that ever.  I think they're programed to climb up and that's it!...
DARN. My TT is already up of the ground about 3' so I was hoping I could train them to come back down. I guess I could try with one of them...that is presuming I ever get them planted AND they actually grow.

I was kind of wondering how you would be growing pole beans in a TT.  I have considered, when they get to the top of the trellis, tying a string onto the growing tip of the vine.  Then letting the string hang down and put a little sinker on the end of the string to help the vine grow down.  One of those little bb size sinkers.   Keep adding little sinkers until the vine starts to grow down.
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  boffer on 4/17/2015, 9:38 pm

Trellises don't have to be perpendicular.

Here's a couple other possibilities.  I grow most of my peas and beans in 1x4 boxes.

These are peas, and not beans, but they reach for the sun and just lay down.






These are beans.  The two boxes are about 7 feet apart with an arch trellis connecting the two.  At the top the plants just grow past each other.


And it makes picking easier too.
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  ralitaco on 4/17/2015, 10:21 pm

yolos wrote:I was kind of wondering how you would be growing pole beans in a TT.
Yea, me too.

yolos wrote:I have considered, when they get to the top of the trellis, tying a string onto the growing tip of the vine.  Then letting the string hang down and put a little sinker on the end of the string to help the vine grow down.  One of those little bb size sinkers.   Keep adding little sinkers until the vine starts to grow down.
That is a neat idea.

boffer wrote:Trellises don't have to be perpendicular.
I was thinking that too. I was condsidering trying to run them over the top of my TT, but I was thinking they would block too much sun.

boffer wrote:The two boxes are about 7 feet apart with an arch trellis connecting the two.  At the top the plants just grow past each other.
Originally, I thought I might build another 4x4 box like this one and put a pergola style "roof" over them. Then the vines could climb on that. But now I am leaning towards 2 - 2x8 boxes. I guess I could still design something where I extend the legs on the one 2' end to the same height and put a 4' crossbar on that and then run an overhead trellis between them. Hmmmm. I will have to let my mind ruminate on that.

boffer wrote:And it makes picking easier too.
Sweet!!!
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  ralitaco on 4/18/2015, 11:18 pm

Another Update - Got a bunch done so this one is a bit long: 

Was able to get to the stores today and in the yard. Thank goodness
Thanks to Walshevak for the suggestions about Dr Campbells Hog manure compost.

I picked some up, sifted it and mixed it in with my other composts. I was trying to do it in a wheelbarrow, but had too much so I pulled out a tarp. The first one was too small, so I had to pull out my really big tarp (8x20'ish) that I've had forever. So I dump the compost on the tarp and start mixing it per the book by pulling the corners. I work it from one end to the other and start making my way back to the starting point...my tarp starts to split in the middle affraid. So I had to shovel it back in the wheel barrow off the tarp and off the grass. Fortunately only lost a little and have some well mixed blended compost.
 

While out shopping today, I also was able to get some plants AND got them planted FINALLY -  cheers.
 

I made 1 change to my planting plan - I planted 2 squares of cucumbers and only 1 of pole beans. So here is my layout:

South corner
West Corner
Grape Tomato
Leaf Lettuce
Grape Tomato 
 Leaf Lettuce
x1
x4
x1
x4
Leaf Lettuce
Bell Pepper
Swiss Chard
Grape Tomato 
x4
x1
x4
x1
Leaf Lettuce
Grape Tomato 
Bell Pepper
Zuchini
x4
x1
x1
x0.5
Pole Beans
Cucumbers
Cucumbers
Zuchini
x8
x2
x2
x0.5
East Corner
North Corner
I also started adding the ledge on top of the sides. I am doing this to re-capture some of the height in the box AND I like having something to set things down on while working on the garden.
 

And as if this wasn't enough, I started working on removing and sifting the MM from my boxes from 2010 that were full of grass that came up through the ground cloth. Ironically, the ground cloth was still intact, but the grass just came through. In order to get the MM out of the box and onto the sifter, I had to do somehting that I thought was no longer necessary with SFG'ing...I had to break out a hoe. I guess when you leave boxes sitting on the ground, untouched for 5 years having to use a hoe is my punishment for SFG Neglect.
  
(sorry for the blurry pictures, it was getting dark and I was getting tired)

Phew...
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  boffer on 4/18/2015, 11:26 pm

Plants...the final touch! You got a lot done today.

Nice job.
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  boffer on 4/18/2015, 11:45 pm



I have ledges like this on a few boxes, and they just didn't work so well holding seedling pots, seed packages, coffee cup, etc.

So I'll throw out another project idea for you! Rolling Eyes

I made some hanging shelves that I swear by.  Occasionally, I'll pick one up and move it, but for the most part they're centrally located. (please ignore the thirsty celery plant; that's a story for another day.)



I made mine out of a metal retail display rack, but you're good with wood so I bet you could come up with a simple idea using wood.
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  ralitaco on 4/18/2015, 11:56 pm

boffer wrote:Plants...the final touch!  You got a lot done today.

Nice job.  
Thank you, yes I did.

Now I need to start building my 2x8's because I have sifted 1/2 of the first box that was on the ground but filled up the trash can so I am at a standstill there until I get that done. 

I did score something that I think I can incorporate into my 2x8's. I got a bunch of metal shelves from work. They measure 22"x25" and I know they can hold a lot of weight. I have seen them loaded down with over 100 bags of IV saline and they never bow. 
 

I am thinking I can use them in lieu of the hardware cloth or perhaps in conjunction with it. I think I will make the box about 23" wide by 8'6" long. That way, I can put a 2x every 2' so 1 will be under the spot where the 2 edges point down. I am thinking I will run a 2x4 on edge all the way around and then put another 2x4 on top of that laying flat. (like and upside down L). Then I can use either a 2x6 or 2 - 2x4's on edge to form the box. 
Still working it out in my head...gotta get those gears turning when I am better rested.  thinking

I am open to suggestions from anyone, so feel free to chime in
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  ralitaco on 4/19/2015, 10:43 am

What size hardware cloth do you guys use for your bottoms? 1/2" or 1/4"

Thanks
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  boffer on 4/19/2015, 10:56 am

What a score! Your shelves should make excellent bottoms.  good job!   No hardware cloth needed.

I use ½" hardware cloth.
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  sanderson on 4/19/2015, 1:45 pm

Ralitaco, A bush or tree root can definitely come up through weed fabric; that is a compliment to Mel's Mix! There are other noxious weeds that spread underground and will come up through it or around the edges between the wood and fabric. Hence, every one of my boxes was elevated last year.

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weed cloth

Post  ralitaco on 4/19/2015, 6:43 pm

sanderson wrote:Ralitaco,  A bush or tree root can definitely come up through weed fabric; that is a compliment to Mel's Mix!  There are other noxious weeds that spread underground and will come up through it or around the edges between the wood and fabric.  Hence, every one of my boxes was elevated last year.
So I saw first hand. I don't think I will ever have any boxes directly on the ground again even if they are elevated only a few inches.

I have to admit that I was surprised at how well the weed fabric held up overall. Yes there were some roots that got through but I really thought the fabric would have disintegrated after all those years. 
I have read on several threads a reccomendation that we use good quality weed cloth and not the cheap felt stuff. But I think all I am seeing in the stores is the cheap felt stuff, maybe some is better than others. I know some are labelled as Professional or Heavy duty but it all looks the same to me. 
If anyone has a specific brand or a link to the "good" weed cloth please share.
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Plant Markers

Post  ralitaco on 4/19/2015, 6:48 pm

Here is a riddle for you...
What do you get when you have 15 blank plant markers, a bunch of fine point sharpies and a bored, artistic 21 y.o. daughter??







Last edited by ralitaco on 4/19/2015, 6:52 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add pictures)
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  jimmy cee on 4/19/2015, 9:55 pm

I don't think much of stuff under beds any more, I'd just pull weeds out if they grew.
Only reason I use weed barrier now is that it makes a great keeper inner for Mel's Mix..

Tree roots coming up

1/2 a 4 x 10 bed was plastered with these
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  ralitaco on 4/19/2015, 10:45 pm

jimmy cee wrote:I don't think much of stuff under beds any more, I'd just pull weeds out if they grew.
Only reason I use weed barrier now is that it makes a great keeper inner for Mel's Mix..
It sure does...I was really surprised when I hit bottom and the cloth was still there. I was afraid I was going to have to figure out where the MM stopped and the native soil started OR that I would have lost all my vermiculite, etc. Fortunately that did not happen.

jimmy cee wrote:1/2 a 4 x 10 bed was plastered with these
I am filling a 3 gallon bucket with those as I sift the MM.
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  sanderson on 4/20/2015, 3:10 am

Ralitaco, Your daughter's making you some classy looking markers!

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Cherry Tomato Plant Markers

Post  ralitaco on 4/20/2015, 10:44 am

sanderson wrote:Ralitaco,  Your daughter's making you some classy looking markers!

Yes she is...she did 2 more

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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  kristinz on 4/20/2015, 4:37 pm

Hey there Ralitaco,
Spent some time reading this thread and there are some great ideas!  I especially like the trellises that go between the 2 beds and create a 'tunnel'.  This is my second year doing SFG.  
This is regards to weed blocker material.  Last year I made an error and put a bed right up against a chain link fence and had a horrible weed problem between the bed and the fence.  We moved the bed away from the fence this spring and it was complete bare - no growth under the bed whatsoever.  Here is what we did - DH weed-whacked the entire area for me, we put down 2 layers of newspaper, then wet it, next added a layer of cardboard from boxes we had gotten in the mail, etc....and then we put down the weed blocker material and then the box.  When went to move the box, only thing left was the weed blocker - the newspaper and cardboard totally disintegrated..  I think it worked awesome because the area around the bed has weeds and crab grass... I had left a pile of MM in a tarp near the same bed on the ground last fall, and this spring there was stuff growing up from the grass, holes right through my tarp... a big mess....Just an idea if you are using weed blocker material  -- those extra layers really help!  
Ralitaco - I love the raised bed, something I can see us doing in the future - good luck with your crops!  I'm looking forward to seeing more pics and your progress!
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  ralitaco on 4/20/2015, 5:14 pm

Thanks for taking the time to read about my "Adventure."
Someone posted that we should use the quality weed blocker and not the cheap stuff, I was really wondering what the quality stuff is. For right now I just need it as a "Mel's Mix Keeper-inner" (Did I get that term right JimmiCee). This year all I plan on having are elevated beds. Besides that, the weed cloth I had did a pretty good job considering I just let the beds sit for 5 years.
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Re: Adventures in Table Top

Post  sanderson on 4/21/2015, 1:09 am

For elevated raised beds (like table tops or set on boards, pavers, blocks, etc) the quality doesn't seem to be as important. At least, I should say, it has worked for me. I used the lesser quality when they were on the dirt and then reused them as "Mel's Mix Keeper-inners."

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