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My First SFG...Work in progress

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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  Kelejan on 5/24/2015, 11:41 pm

@sanderson wrote:CLM,  Those are outstanding!!  You can also add bridal tulle against the white butterfly/green caterpillar or sun shade.    

And/or plastic for frost protection.
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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  Kelejan on 5/24/2015, 11:43 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:Great work CLM ... my cages look quite rough compared to your well crafted design.

Don't fret, TD. I don't think your veggies will worry about a little rough work so long as it is solid. Very Happy
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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  clm2112 on 5/28/2015, 12:35 pm

First Sprouts!

First to come up, the Cherry Bell Radishes.  Square 1 has 14 growing plants, two have not made it to the surface...have to wait and see if they germinate.  Square 9 has 16 growing plants out of 16 planted.

Square 8 is showing two of the four Simpson Lettuce plants just peeking through.

Off and running!  






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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/28/2015, 12:58 pm

cheers
They are so adorable when they're just coming up.
CC
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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  sanderson on 5/28/2015, 3:16 pm


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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  ralitaco on 5/29/2015, 7:55 am

I love when the plants break through the soil, it is such a wondrous event.
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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  clm2112 on 5/31/2015, 3:46 pm

Despite the rain, heat, and humidity (Ok, I spent 22 years in Central Florida, so I really have no right to complain now) I did manage to get get some more done on the SFG.

Finished loading mix into the second frame, so I can plant it tomorrow. Need to make another chicken wire cover for it.  Also took in some refugee Geraniums and got the compost bin cooking again.  Moved a lot of rock, which really takes the motivation right outta me.




More of the plants in the first frame have poked their heads up.

The two AWOL radish plants sprouted finally. One turned up in the same spot as another (I must have dropped the seed in the wrong hole during planting) and the other is up but not looking healthy.  I'll give it another day and see if the two leaves uncurl.

A few of the spinach plants are up above soil level.  All of the lettuce plants are up.  That just leaves the beets.

On the plus side, I am really appreciating the no-weed situation.  Makes identifying the plant a whole lot easier. Several of the varieties I planted in the frame are new to me...I have no idea what they are supposed to look like during their development cycle.  Not having any stray plants popping to confuse the situation is helpful.
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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  sanderson on 6/1/2015, 12:38 am

@clm2112 wrote:On the plus side, I am really appreciating the no-weed situation.  Makes identifying the plant a whole lot easier. Several of the varieties I planted in the frame are new to me...I have no idea what they are supposed to look like during their development cycle.  Not having any stray plants popping to confuse the situation is helpful.
That's a big plus for SFG.

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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  Kelejan on 6/2/2015, 12:38 am

@sanderson wrote:
@clm2112 wrote:On the plus side, I am really appreciating the no-weed situation.  Makes identifying the plant a whole lot easier. Several of the varieties I planted in the frame are new to me...I have no idea what they are supposed to look like during their development cycle.  Not having any stray plants popping to confuse the situation is helpful.
That's a big plus for SFG.

I remember when I first started, I did not have a clue what anything was as the first leaves all seemed alike, so I was grateful that I could weed anything out of the set pattern and be fairly sure that it was something unwanted.
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Little status update

Post  clm2112 on 8/14/2015, 5:29 pm

About 2/3rds of the way through growing season.  Figured I would give a little status update.  Some thing grew great, some were a complete bust.

The plants that did very well:

Cherry Bell Radishes!  On my fourth planting of these little fellows.  They do extremely well.

Black Seeded Simpson Leaf Lettuce - Kinda slow getting started, but now they get a haircut about once a week to keep from bolting.

Zucchini - Yeah, this is Western PA, need not say much more.  They are taking over the corner of the garden near the compost pile.  Two dozen fruits so far and they are still blossoming.

So-So plantings:

Iceberg Head Lettuce - Took a long time, but it is finally up and getting trimmed as leaves mature to salad size.  Probably skip this all together next year and plant more leaf lettuce of different varieties instead.

Jupiter Beets - first planting withered and died before getting more than a few inches tall.  Only two survivors.  Second planting did better, with about half of them now in the 1foot tall size.  Cross this off the list for next year after I sow the remaining seeds directly into the ground.

Blue Lake bush beans - first planting died off, 2nd planting in 1 square foot bucket beds is just coming up now.  Started them like bean sprouts in a mason jar and only planted the ones that sprouted.  They might make it to harvest, I have covers for the buckets to help when the first frost of fall comes along.  It's a roll of the dice, but I have nothing to loose by trying.

Absolute failures:

Burpee "Big Bunches" Spinach - two attempt to grow from seed, nothing ever got above ground.  I'll sow what is left in the packet in the ground next year just to see if anything comes up, but not wasting any valuable real estate on them.

Furball hiding out under the Geraniums:



Buckets with little bean plants just coming up...



And the three 3x3 frames.  Last frame is just being sown with radishes.  As the other two frames are harvested, probably going to plant garlic in them to winter over.



Plan for the rest of the summer and into the fall is to expand the bucket garden.  I keep getting the buckets as freebies from my brother.  They are throw-aways from the local grocery store where he works.  I just cut the bottom out, plant them on a piece of landscape cloth, then fill them with mix.  So, next to nothing out of pocket to keep adding buckets.  Probably put beans and squash in them next year.  Also need to fence in the garden.  The chicken wire is effective at keeping the birds from picking the seeds, but it is no match for the deer, racoons, and groundhogs.
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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/14/2015, 5:58 pm

Nice, clm, and hello from Ohio! You have some great looking boxes in a good location too. Sounds like you are learning what is working for you and not so much, I think we all are. And changes from year to year, depending on the weather, pests, etc.

flower
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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  sanderson on 8/14/2015, 9:52 pm

CLM,  Thank you for the update and photos!

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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  AtlantaMarie on 8/15/2015, 6:51 am

Looks great, CLM.  Thanks for the update.
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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  clm2112 on 11/9/2015, 7:05 pm

Well, growing season pretty much ended this morning.  I dodged the first frost by covering up the beds with sheets.  It bought me another few weeks of growing time.  Last night the temps must have dipped below the freezing point again, everything was covered in frost this morning. (Grrr, according to the weather forecast, it was not supposed to dip that low overnight.)

I did manage to harvest the last of the leaf lettuce, beets, and radishes.  Tomorrow I'll mix up the soil in the beds and plant a few squares of garlic to winter over, then start getting prepped for winter really getting started.  (already in winter maintenance mode... doing the regular maintenance on the Farmall, have four chords of firewood stacked up, just getting everything buttoned up before the first snow.)

See Y'all next spring! Wink
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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  plantoid on 11/9/2015, 7:15 pm

May I suggest that you write your first & last frost dates in your ANSFG book .. over the years you have a much better idea of when yours will occur.

he stuff you read in the gardening books is an average guesstimate using weather station data ,  whereas the true picture in your precise location can be affected by all manner of things such as  hills , wood land  , orientation to the sun etc etc.
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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  Scorpio Rising on 11/9/2015, 9:52 pm

Hi, clm! Just wanted to invite you to post on the NC & Midwest thread also, as we all experience similar weather and climates...as well as our individual struggles!!!!

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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  sanderson on 11/10/2015, 2:48 am

CLM,  Please keep in touch during the winter.  Last winter we had stories, jokes, and photos from southern folks.  If you are a SFGer, could you add your comments to "Calling on all Members" as to what SFG means to you?  Even a couple of sentences.

PS Oh, duhh, I just saw your photo of your boxes. That photo would be great with your comments in the above topic. So, how did you like your first year of SFG?

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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  clm2112 on 11/10/2015, 5:48 am

Overall, SFG was a worthwhile experiment this year.  I'll expand the area to eight 3x3 frames and triple the bucket farm area.  That will pretty much fill up the area around the cistern.  The hexagonal pad of concrete at the end of the area is going to become a geodesic greenhouse.

The fields are just going to get a planting of buckwheat.  Most of the farm activity next year is going to revolve around taking timber instead of crops. Sadly, the Emerald Ash Borer has done a number on a lot of trees.  So, I have to take down the dying trees and salvage the wood before they fall down of their own accord.
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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  Scorpio Rising on 11/10/2015, 7:48 am

CLM, I have noticed the farmers around here are putting in more cover crops too, whether it be oil seed mustard, winter rye or buckwheat. Good practices, old fashioned. The EAB has decimated the trees here too. Sad.

Like sanderson said, keep on posting! We learn year-round, and it is fun to get to know each other!
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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  clm2112 on 11/10/2015, 8:28 am

Yep, it is old fashioned.  But it is still good practice none the less.  My fields are all on slopes.  So, to keep erosion from putting my topsoil into the Monongahela River, I have to put something in them.  It might as well be something that will add organic matter to the soil when it is plowed under (and the honey bees will dig it Wink ).  It will be interesting to get the soil report back from Penn State Ag Extension next year.  Last years was Ok, but not great.  If this years is better, then perhaps a different grain will get planted instead of buckwheat.

If the El Nino forecast proves true, it will be a mild, but drier, winter for this area. Just have to wait and see what actually happens.  It will be a zero-impact on the SFG garden, except perhaps an earlier first planting.
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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  clm2112 on 3/25/2016, 7:04 am

SFG wintered over well, it has been a mild winter.  No signs of life from the garlic yet.  This weekend will be the first planting of 2016
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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  clm2112 on 3/25/2016, 7:16 am

Biggest change has been the process of tree removal over the winter.  Mostly along the south and east side of the garden area.  More sunlight in the morning hours.

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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  clm2112 on 3/25/2016, 7:57 am

Oh, in the sad news department.  Furball didn't make it through the winter.  I found him one morning during deer season (first week in December.)  He had died from a large wound in his shoulder, with a large chunk of flesh missing.  He may have tangled with a fox or coyote, or possibly shot by a hunter.  No way to tell.  He was getting rather bold in his adventures, disappearing for a few days at a time, even accompanying me into the woods and climbing up into the tree stands with me.

So, he will not be around the garden this year Sad
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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  ralitaco on 3/25/2016, 9:46 am

Hey CLM, glad to see you made it back to the forum too.
First off, I'm sorry to hear about Furball, our old cat, Lilly, was not doing well and she wandered off this winter. We haven't seen her since.

I had just cut down some trees in my yard and my body didn't appreciate it. Those trees of yours look quite large. I hope you had help and more that just that wheel barrow. Smile




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Re: My First SFG...Work in progress

Post  clm2112 on 3/25/2016, 10:08 am

Unfortunately, not much help.

The ones closest to the house had their tops taken out by a contractor (they were clearing power lines and wanted to make a little money on the side...took them only an evening to take the tops out of 30 trees, but it took me six months to clean up the mess!)

The rest of the trees are being taken down one at a time by me and a pair of chainsaws.  Fortunately, living on the farm allows me to burn brush, so as each tree is taken down, all the branches are stripped and burned.  I'm averaging about two days to process one of the 80 to 90 foot tall trees.  Drop them in the field, clean off the branches, walk them over to the burn pile in the field, cut the trunks into 12 foot lengths to feed into the bandsaw mill this summer.  Rinse, refill, and repeat. Smile
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