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Second Year SFG in Canada

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 10/12/2016, 1:22 pm

Got all the nails and screws out of the free lumber. happy banana   

Now I need to decide on a design for the compost bin and start building.  thinking

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  Kelejan on 10/12/2016, 2:17 pm

Make sure the front is made with loose slats so they can be slipped in or out as needed, when using your compost or as your compost builds up.  Saves a lot of energy when you can work at the right level.

Oh, I know, I am talking to the choir. Very Happy  Actually, it is on behalf of newbies who may read this.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on 10/12/2016, 3:27 pm

The wood looks clean, perfect (gardener's perspective)! Can't wait to see what you build. Yes, removable slats!

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 10/12/2016, 4:34 pm

SR ... If you are reading this ... I just received the melon seeds that you sent me. Thanks.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 10/13/2016, 6:49 pm

For my new compost bin I was going to use some "used" chicken wire that we already have at hand. But today while out shopping I decided I would spend a few dollars and buy some 1/2 inch mesh hardware cloth. It has smaller holes and is stronger than the chicken wire. I actually bought a 36 inch x 25 foot roll which is way more than I need for the one compost bin. I'm sure there will be other things for which I will be able to use it. With this purchase I have moved another step closer in my quest for a 3x3x3 compost bin.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  Kelejan on 10/13/2016, 7:16 pm

Well done, TD.  I am sure you will find a use for the surplus.

The year before last I bought a 100ft roll of landscape fabric. I have nearly finished the first roll and I will be happy when it comes to using the second roll.  I bought the two rolls when I was feeling flush with money at the time. Very Happy

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 10/14/2016, 9:45 am

Down to -1 Celsius last night. Frost got the Eggplant and Pepper plants. Chard and Kale are still ok.

Photos of the drooping Eggplants.



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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  Kelejan on 10/14/2016, 2:23 pm

That's horrible, TD. Does it make you want to emmigrate to California?

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 10/14/2016, 3:55 pm

@Kelejan wrote:That's horrible, TD. Does it make you want to emmigrate to California?
Not really. I like the four seasons except that Winter is too long and cold in Ottawa. So far my SFG has been very low maintenance over two summers. I have been able to go away for 10 days at a time and come back to a good looking veggie garden. For the most part I just rely on the rain for watering once the plants are well established.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 10/14/2016, 4:05 pm

It was shame to see the veggie garden hit by frost but overall today has been a winning day. I scored a big haul at the house renovation down the street. I helped remove parts of a shed and was able to bring home some 2x6 boards. I could not tell whether they were pressure treated. However, after closer examination it turns out that they are cedar.  The boards range in length from 8 feet to 3 feet. Now I have to rethink my new 3x3x3 compost bin construction. And I think there may be the roots of another SFG raised bed or table top in those boards.

cheers





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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  CapeCoddess on 10/14/2016, 5:03 pm

Cedar??? NICE!
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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  Scorpio Rising on 10/14/2016, 10:02 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:SR ... If you are reading this ... I just received the melon seeds that you sent me. Thanks.
You will love them!

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 10/15/2016, 12:56 pm

And now it begins ... construction of the 3'x3'x3' compost bin using the "found" cedar 2"x6" lumber from the neighbour's renovation. I probably should have ripped these boards down the middle to get the wood I needed. But I am too lazy to do that so I am using the full 2x6s which should make this compost bin as strong as a tank. Side one has been put together. I will make another side like this one then join them together with horizontal boards across the back of the bin.  Now that I see how big this thing is going to be I am wondering where I will get all the composting materials to fill it.





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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on 10/15/2016, 3:40 pm

2" thick cedar!! Are you going to put pavers underneath?

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 10/15/2016, 5:39 pm

@sanderson wrote: 2" thick cedar!!  Are you going to put pavers underneath?
I'm thinking of putting paving bricks underneath the edges but leave the bottom open to the soil.

This new bin is massively over engineered. The thing is a beast.

Here it is in temporary setup. The back pieces are not yet properly secured and the hardware cloth has not been applied.





Changing the subject ... the red tomatoes on the left of this photo were ripened indoors in a cardboard box with a banana in the box.





These eggplants were removed today from the frost bitten plants. They feel firm so hopefully they are OK.  Most are quite tiny.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on 10/16/2016, 12:02 am

Very Happy

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 10/17/2016, 12:48 pm

Site preparations are underway for the new compost bin.

First thing is to remove the old holding pen which will be relocated next to the new compost bin.




Leveled the ground.




Found a ton of worms as I was leveling the soil. These were all in about a one foot square (Square Foot Worming - SFW) and about an inch below the surface.




Paving bricks squared up and leveled.  I expect they and the new bin will suffer from extreme frost heave during the winter. A couple of feet below our top soil there is clay which heaves badly. Some things in our yard will heave several inches during the winter. Footings for decks must be placed four feet down to prevent frost heave. These bricks are on the surface so nasty things may happen.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  Kelejan on 10/17/2016, 1:09 pm

I love your step by step progress. 

I think we only get frost heaves above a certain altitude.  My DH broke his back once visiting a Legion friend and he had to be ambulanced back home to our hospital, when we still had it :-(  over a mountain pass.  He said he would never forget every bump that he went over, as the road was made with sections of concrete with spaces in between.  Later, as I was driving him,  he pointed out a sunken manhole cover that I
was about to run over, but too late, I gave him a bump that hurt. Every time I passed near that cover it reminded me of him.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 10/17/2016, 1:18 pm

@Kelejan wrote:I love your step by step progress. 
...
The problem with me showing photos of my step by step progress is that it reveals just how slowly I work.


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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  Kelejan on 10/17/2016, 1:24 pm

That's OK, TD.  I don't read very fast.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 10/17/2016, 5:37 pm

Next installment in the step by step process.

The framework is in place. The thinner pieces of wood are just there to keep things in place during assembly. I think I may need a low piece across the bottom at the front and another removable piece across the top near the front to keep the sides from spreading apart. Another option will be to drive rods into the ground to keep it in place. I also got the hardware mesh cut but did not fasten it to the framework. I had to stop working when the rain started (sanderson ... I'm sorry that I had to mention that). 




Notice how small the plastic compost bin looks next to the new one. So far this bin has cost me about $11 Cdn (plus sales tax). I already had the screws and I used found wood. I bought hardware mesh ($32) but only used about one-third of the roll. I will probably have to buy some cedar for the front removeable slats although I could use some non-cedar wood I have on hand and just replace it as needed in the future. And I have to decide what to do for a top/roof if anything more than heavy plastic or tarp.












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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  Kelejan on 10/18/2016, 12:45 am

When it is finished it will hold a lot more heat then the smaller one so you should get faster composting.

X hours @ minimum wage makes for a very expensive composter that is priceless.

Makes me realise that I could never have earned a living by painting houses or anything that I do physically.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  sanderson on 10/18/2016, 2:29 am

Looking good. I haven't had much problem with the front spreading apart. Originally, there were bungee cords but they were quickly retired. Before you staple (or hammer in Romex staples) the mesh, install the double strips (slat glides) at the front for the sliding front boards. I'm assuming you are just going to use the free wood and not buy angle iron or something. Are you going to line the mesh with commercial weed fabric?

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  trolleydriver on 10/18/2016, 8:02 am

@sanderson wrote:Looking good.  I haven't had much problem with the front spreading apart.  Originally, there were bungee cords but they were quickly retired.  Before you staple (or hammer in Romex staples) the mesh, install the double strips (slat glides)  at the front for the sliding front boards.  I'm assuming you are just going to use the free wood and not buy angle iron or something.  Are you going to line the mesh with commercial weed fabric?
I have a 2x4 piece of cedar from a previous project that I am going to rip down the middle to give me the inside pieces for the slides. If I want to continue with cedar I will have to buy wood for the front pieces for the guides as well as for the slats. I don't plan on using weed fabric at this time. I can add that in the future if I start losing compost through the 1/2 inch openings in the mesh.

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Re: Second Year SFG in Canada

Post  yolos on 10/18/2016, 11:02 am

A couple of pictures to show you what I did with the compost bin to keep it from bowing out when full.  Yea, I know, way over engineered but I had fun planning it and building it.

This is what I used to keep the bottom of the bin in place.  I had a leftover piece of 2x4 and added L brackets to each end.  Just slip it on before starting to fill bin.  When you are ready to turn the pile, just pull it away from the bin to get to the bottom easily.  It is not attached to the bin, it just sits in front.



Here is the over engineered part to keep the top of the bin from bowing outward.



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