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2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  yolos on 4/3/2016, 9:36 am

@Windmere wrote:Yolos, your set up looks ingenious.  How did your tomatoes fare?
Last night was just a test run.  The temperature did not go below 50*F.  Tonight it is forecast for 41*F.  Next Friday 35*F, and next Sat 41*F.  So we shall see by the end of next week.  I do have backups in case it doesn't work.  I checked the soil temps this morning after I took off the cover and the soil temp was 60*F.  That is perfect.  I need one of those remote thermometers to put under the cover so I can actually see what the temp is inside the cover.  I used to have one but it died on me and I can't figure out the best one to buy.  Anyone have any suggestions.

The only problem I saw was the build up of condensation under the cover.  That is not good because it will allow the disease spores to multiply.  But with all the rain we had the other day, the ground is saturated.  It is also a pain because I am trying to dry the plastic out and the wind is really blowing.

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  ralitaco on 4/3/2016, 12:28 pm

@yolos wrote:Don't think it matters whether it is a 3 foot or 4 foot cube when determining how long it takes to compost it.  It depends on the effort and materials you put in the bin.
Well that makes sense

@yolos wrote:My compost takes about 6 months because I use a lot of live oak leaves which take forever to decompose.  Also, I only turn it a few times.
That is what mine took. I also have lots of scrub oaks and holly leaves but I didn't mulch them. Also, I only turned it a few times.

@yolos wrote:Now Sanderson can get her pile composted in a few weeks using the 18 day method.
Time to search for Sanderson's 18 day method

@yolos wrote:The 3 foot cube bin takes less time and effort to fill.  It takes less time and effort to turn.  It is disappointing to keep collecting, shredding and adding material to a 4 foot cube and only see it partially filled up.  It is so much more pleasurable to put the material in a 3 foot cube bin and fill it all the way to the top.  It is faster, less effort, and less material to fill and check that off your "To Do List".
@sanderson wrote:The 3 cubic foot bin is 27 cu. ft. of turning.  The 4 cu. ft. bin is 64 cu. ft. of turning.  Significant difference in volume of material needed and labor in turning.  I can handle the smaller one.   Very Happy
Wow, what a difference but that makes sense why the 4x never seems to fill...
Ok so "Add to list of projects - 3x3x3 compost bin - qty = ?"


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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  yolos on 4/5/2016, 10:12 pm

I finally did a much needed inventory of all my seeds.  I was too busy working this winter to do an inventory so I just ordered what I planned to plant this season.  Well, I must have done that same thing the last couple years because when I finally did my inventory, it turns out I have over 220 varieties of vegetables, microgreens and cover crop seeds.  Oh no naughty me.  But in defense of myself, I have been planting numerous varieties of each type of vegetable trying to determine what works best in my climate.   

Here is a picture of my Aerogarden.  I am growing Black Seeded Simpson lettuce.  All the containers on the shelves are storing my seeds I managed to accumulate over the last few years.  Of course, many may not be viable.  Lettuce and maybe spinach don't last long. It is not good that the containers are clear and will let in light.  I may have to line them with dark paper to keep the lights out.  Too many to put in the refrigerator to store.

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  yolos on 4/6/2016, 2:25 pm

Todays lunch.  Made with home grown spinach, lettuce, daikon radish seed pods, Fava Beans, Fava Bean leaves, Fava Bean Flowers.  Unfortunately I did have to buy tomatoes, cucumbers and avacado.  It will be a while before cucumbers and tomatoes will be home grown.

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  ralitaco on 4/6/2016, 4:57 pm

That looks AWESOME!!!

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  yolos on 4/10/2016, 12:00 am

Garden Update 04/09/16
Looks like I will be planting out a lot of warm season crops on Monday.  Beginning on Monday it looks like the lows for the following 10 days will be over 50*F and the soil temps are about 60*F.  So here is a look at a lot of my cool season crops.

Broccoli - planted 16 purchased transplants but I doubt they will make heads before the warm weather hits.  I covered them in tulle to help keep out the nasties.


Peas - on the right hand side are the Tom Thumb English peas planted from seeds, in the middle are the Anna Snap Peas transplanted from purchased plants, and on the left are the Alaska English Peas.  The Anna Sugar Snap peas are producing but I doubt the English peas will produce before the warm weather hits.  But they better hurry up because I want to plant Rattlesnake Pole Beans against the trellis and Bush Lima Beans on the right side of the bed.



Daikon Radish - planted as a cover crop last fall.  The plants that were next to the wooden sides of the bed survived the winter and are putting out flowers now.  There are hundreds of seed pods sitting on.  They are delicious.  I added them to my salad and was surprised at the excellent taste of the still green pods.  I am letting them continue growing so I can save seeds.  I was growing a lot of daikon radish plants as microgreens so the seeds will come in handy for that purpose.


Potatoes - I hilled these up a few days ago.  It is strange that some of the plants are about 12 inches high and some are just sitting there just above the soil level.  Strange, I never had that happen.  I wonder if it is because some of the seed potatoes were cut before planting and some of the smaller seed potatoes were not cut but just planted whole.  The bed looks a little patchy but that is because of some of the little bitty plants.


Leeks and Garlic - The leeks are on the left side of the box.  They were planted from transplants last fall.  The garlic is on the right side of the bed planted with garlic I saved from my plants last year.  Some are growing gangbusters and some not growing as well.  A few Shallots survived the winter but are hidden by the bigger garlic.


Fava Beans - Another experiment.  I planted these from seed last fall.  They are setting on a nice crop of fava beans.  I did have a problem over the winter.  All the information I read before I planted them said all they needed was a corral around the outside of the patch.  Well, this did not work for me.  They withstood the cold temps real well except they became very soft and kind of fell down on themselves after a freeze.  Most sprang back up when the weather warmed up but some died because the stalks bent.  So if I grow them again, I will put them along a trellis.  They are about 4 feet tall now and beans are setting on.  But they better hurry and grow more beans because I want to plant sweet potatoes here.



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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/10/2016, 9:07 am

Wow!  Everything looks wonderful, Yolos!  Great job, especially with this crazy weather we've been having.

I had to go back a bit in your thread to catch up and was admiring the hoop tunnel with the lights on, then my cat walked on my keyboard  (probably because I'm eating ice cream for breakfast Embarassed ) and I lost my place so will go back in an minute. Do you grow mostly under cover this time of year?  Is that how you got that salad already?

I love daikon pods!  I think I even like them better than the radish itself.  

About planting your summer crops tomorrow...I just saw that there will be a dip in the jet stream on the east coast on Friday. Didn't notice if it went down your way or not. If you plant tomorrow, will you cover for the potential dip?

CC


Last edited by CapeCoddess on 4/10/2016, 9:10 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  ralitaco on 4/10/2016, 9:07 am

WOW Yolos...that is fantastic!!!
@yolos wrote:Garden Update 04/09/16
Looks like I will be planting out a lot of warm season crops on Monday.  Beginning on Monday it looks like the lows for the following 10 days will be over 50*F and the soil temps are about 60*F.  So here is a look at a lot of my cool season crops.
So are all of the veggies you listed considered Cool season crops?

@yolos wrote:Broccoli - planted 16 purchased transplants but I doubt they will make heads before the warm weather hits.  I covered them in tulle to help keep out the nasties.
If they don't head up, will you have to pull them or will they survive until the fall?


@yolos wrote:Daikon Radish - planted as a cover crop last fall.
What is the purpose of the cover crop? Is is to get some edibles or do you just plan to "till" in the organic matter to enrich the soil?


@yolos wrote:Potatoes - I hilled these up a few days ago.
At the Herb and Garden Fair, the presenter that was there from the state was asked if you could grow potatoes in a SFG, he said no. I was not sure but I thought you could...now I know. How deep is the soil?

@yolos wrote:Leeks and Garlic
What is the best time to plant Garlic? I am thinking it gets planted in the fall and can grow over winter since it is a root?

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/10/2016, 9:40 am

Wow! Yolos, nice! And your salad looks beautiful and delicious! RT, you can most definitely grow potatoes in your SFG, in fact they do very well. I planted my garlic in October for harvest this year, if it is still alive!

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  yolos on 4/10/2016, 9:46 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:Wow!  Everything looks wonderful, Yolos!  Great job, especially with this crazy weather we've been having.
CC

Thanks CC.

@CapeCoddess wrote:
I had to go back a bit in your thread to catch up and was admiring the hoop tunnel with the lights on, then my cat walked on my keyboard  (probably because I'm eating ice cream for breakfast Embarassed ) and I lost my place so will go back in an minute. Do you grow mostly under cover this time of year?  Is that how you got that salad already?
CC
No, the only thing in my garden that is covered are the tomatoes under that 6 mil plastic.  A row of 13 separate 2 x 2 boxes totaling 32 feet.  The lettuce came from my Aerogarden and the spinach survived the winter unprotected.  The radish were unprotected over the winter and only the ones right up next to the wooden frame survived the winter.  The fava beans were also unprotected but this variety is supposed to be very cold tolerant (Aqua Dolce).  Black Seeded Simpson lettuce growing in my AeroGarden.


@CapeCoddess wrote:
I love daikon pods!  I think I even like them better than the radish itself.  
CC
Me too.
@CapeCoddess wrote:
About planting your summer crops tomorrow...I just saw that there will be a dip in the jet stream on the east coast on Friday.  Didn't notice if it went down your way or not.  If you plant tomorrow, will you cover for the potential dip?
CC
Yes, I just checked the weather and was flabbergasted to see that the Low temps for the coming week are going to be in the upper 40's*F.  What a bummer.  I think I will plant anyway and hope for the best.  Maybe.

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  yolos on 4/10/2016, 10:53 am

@ralitaco wrote:WOW Yolos...that is fantastic!!!
Thanks Ralitaco.

@yolos wrote:Garden Update 04/09/16
Looks like I will be planting out a lot of warm season crops on Monday.  Beginning on Monday it looks like the lows for the following 10 days will be over 50*F and the soil temps are about 60*F.  So here is a look at a lot of my cool season crops.
@ralitaco wrote: So are all of the veggies you listed considered Cool season crops?
Yes, but some are more cold tolerant than others.  For instance, this variety of Fava Beans (Aquadolce) will withstand hard freezes.  The tops of the potatoes will die back in a hard freeze and then regrow if it was not a drastic freeze.  The radishes were planted in the fall and survived until we got a hard freeze.  The only reason (I think) that some survived the winter was because these were planted along the edge of the bed next to the wood.  The ones in the middle of the bed died in the late fall.  The peas like the cool weather and will die in the heat.  They can take a light freeze but will be damaged in a hard freeze.  The broccoli likes cool weather and will survive pretty much all winter in my climate but won't grow over the winter and will bolt as soon as it gets warm.  The garlic and leeks survive over the winter and some say will survive down into the low 20's.  

@yolos wrote:Broccoli - planted 16 purchased transplants but I doubt they will make heads before the warm weather hits.  I covered them in tulle to help keep out the nasties.
@ralitaco wrote: If they don't head up, will you have to pull them or will they survive until the fall?
No, the broccoli will bolt when it gets warm.  If it does, I will harvest the leaves and stalks for various uses.  I like to dehydrate the leaves for Broccoli powder.  And skin the stalks and boil them like you would the broccoli heads.

@yolos wrote:Daikon Radish - planted as a cover crop last fall.
@ralitaco wrote: What is the purpose of the cover crop? Is is to get some edibles or do you just plan to "till" in the organic matter to enrich the soil?
That bed is 4' x 32' long.  When I converted to raised beds, I pulled all the top soil off the old garden into this bed.  Then added about 50% MM and mixed it in.  Too expensive to make the whole bed 100% MM.  I cannot generate enough compost to keep that bed in good condition.  So I grow cover crops or green manure crops whenever any portion of it is vacant.  This year I grew Annual Rye Grass, Buckwheat, Daikon Radish, Australian Winter Peas.  If the growth is real thick, I will cut off the top 50% and feed it to my compost pile and turn the remainder under to help improve the soil.  Composting in place.  Except for the radish pods, all is used for building the soil structure.  I do try to let different things grow until they put out seeds that I can save to replant next year but I don't always have the time before having to replant a summer crop.  Last fall I did save a bunch of Buckwheat seeds to replant and also use for my microgreens and this year I am eating the green radish pods and letting some mature to harvest seeds for next year and to use in my microgreens.

@yolos wrote:Potatoes - I hilled these up a few days ago.
@ralitaco wrote: At the Herb and Garden Fair, the presenter that was there from the state was asked if you could grow potatoes in a SFG, he said no. I was not sure but I thought you could...now I know. How deep is the soil?
As SR said above, he is wrong.  This bed is 6" deep theoretically with hard red Ga clay underneath.  But each time I clean a crop out, I stick my garden fork down into the bed into the clay and wiggle it back and forth.  This allows the good soil to go deeper each time I do this.  It is slowly improving the underlying soil.  But I have planted the potatoes in straight MM in 9.5 inch high beds and it works just as good.

@yolos wrote:Leeks and Garlic
@ralitaco wrote: What is the best time to plant Garlic? I am thinking it gets planted in the fall and can grow over winter since it is a root?
I plant the leeks from transplants in the fall after the weather has cooled off.  They overwinter just fine without protection.  The garlic is planted in late October.  Theoretically, here in the south, you are supposed to plant the garlic after the first frost but before the first freeze.  But who can predict that.  So I just plant about the end of October.  It did not need protection this year.  The year before last, when we got those polar vortex down here and the temps dipped into the low teens, I did cover them but I am not sure I really needed to do that.

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/10/2016, 11:29 am

@yolos wrote:
the broccoli will bolt when it gets warm.  


Good! This is exactly what I hoped would happen to my spring planted broccoli. I need broccoli seeds this year. They will go to seed in summer, right?

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  sanderson on 4/10/2016, 2:52 pm

Yolos, Very nice update with a lot of information.

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  ralitaco on 4/17/2016, 12:22 am

Yolos, thanks for the detailed reply. This is why I love SFG...a non-gardener like me can have success growing his own veggies. AND then I get to learn from the GREAT PEOPLE on this forum.

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  yolos on 4/21/2016, 9:45 pm

Finally I started sowing warm season crops.  I sowed some Fortex Pole Beans along an 8 foot trellis yesterday.  6 inches apart on either side of the trellis.  In the same 3 x 8 foot bed I also planted some Thorogreen Baby Lima beans in front of the Fortex Beans.  But so far, that is all the warm season plants I have planted except the tomatoes.

Here are the eight tomato plants I started inside on 2/14 and transplanted to the garden on 3/30.  I covered them with 6 mil plastic (with Christmas lights under the plastic) whenever the temps were forecast to be below 50*F.  Today, I took off the hoops and Christmas lights, suckered them, cut off the bottom leaves, fertilized and set up a soaker hose.  I still have to put straw around the base of the plants.  I am waiting until after it rains tomorrow. I already have tomatoes setting on a couple of the plants.


This is another group of tomato plants I started on 2/14 and transplanted to the garden today (in my none SFG overflow garden).  The white cloth is temporarily shading them in the afternoon for a couple of days until they adapt themselves to the outside.  They were started the same time as the above tomatoes but were not transplanted until today.  There is a big difference in size.  So maybe the early planting of the above tomatoes using row covers may be worth the effort.


And also an updated picture of the leeks and garlic I planted last October.  The leeks are huge (left side).  Some of the garlic looks good but some are not doing so well.  Some of the leaves are starting to turn yellowish.  Maybe I need to give them a shot of compost or maybe they are coming to the end of their life.  But last year I did not harvest them until May 28 so I hope they just need a little nutrients to help them along.

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  ralitaco on 4/21/2016, 11:44 pm

WOW!!!! Everything looks awesome. I have Tomato Envy!!!

That's it...I have made a decision...Yolos, you have to document what you do every day and I'm just gonna copy what you do...I will call it SFGYS (Square Foot Gardening Yolos Style)

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  yolos on 4/21/2016, 11:57 pm

@ralitaco wrote:WOW!!!! Everything looks awesome. I have Tomato Envy!!!

That's it...I have made a decision...Yolos, you have to document what you do every day and I'm just gonna copy what you do...I will call it SFGYS (Square Foot Gardening Yolos Style)
rofl  Thanks but I am still learning and experimenting.  Wait a month and all those tomatoes will be infected with disease (usually Blight) and dead by the middle of July.

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  yolos on 4/24/2016, 9:57 pm

I had a somewhat productive weekend.  I put about a 2 inch layer of compost on my potato bed, then added a soaker hose and then about 4 inches of straw.  I also added straw to all my tomatoes.  Transplanted about 9 pepper plants.  Planted some cucumber seeds, transplanted some basil and transplanted 2 New Big Dwarf Tomatoes in large pots near the kitchen door.  Put cinnamon on a small patch of a bed that became infested with ants.  Transplanted some strawberries that survived a couple years of neglect.  Transplanted some volunteer borage. And harvested some Anna Snap peas and Fava Beans.  I have to get off my duff now and blanch and peel the fava beans and sample a few of the smaller beans.

Here is a picture of my first harvest of Fava Beans that I picked yesterday.  I looked over the fava bean plants as I was coming inside tonight and there looks like there are more to harvest again but it got too dark so will look again in the morning.

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  Windmere on 4/24/2016, 11:07 pm

I'll say you had a productive weekend yolos!  You accomplished quite a bit.  You got some volunteer borage?  I got a volunteer basil plant and my neighbor just showed me a volunteer pansy that was growing in my grass (?).  I might plant one or two borage, not sure.  I figure you are transplanting them because of how large they get.

The fava bean haul looks great!  

I have found that strawberries are pretty forgiving. I have a friend who does nothing to his other than water (sometimes).  He lives in a spot (here) where the soil is very sandy (no clay).  Despite that, he has enough multipliers to give plenty to my daughter.

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  yolos on 4/24/2016, 11:38 pm

@Windmere wrote:I'll say you had a productive weekend yolos!  You accomplished quite a bit.  You got some volunteer borage?  I got a volunteer basil plant and my neighbor just showed me a volunteer pansy that was growing in my grass (?).  I might plant one or two borage, not sure.  I figure you are transplanting them because of how large they get.

The fava bean haul looks great!  

I have found that strawberries are pretty forgiving. I have a friend who does nothing to his other than water (sometimes).  He lives in a spot (here) where the soil is very sandy (no clay).  Despite that, he has enough multipliers to give plenty to my daughter.
The volunteer Borage was in a 4 x 4 I used last year for flowers only.  I wanted to plant peppers in 8 of the squares and then Bosnian Pole Beans in another 4 squares. And I also really didn't like the Borage so I don't care if it does not survive.  Too whimpy in full sun so I planted it between some tomatoes. I also have 4 O'clock's that all came back in the same box apparently from tubers. I left them where they sprouted because they look so healthy.  I planted the seed last year and they made tubers which sprouted.  So I will have to try that again this year.  I saved seed from the plants that I had last year.

The fava beans were delish.  I have never had them before.  That pile of Fava Beans (after shucking the large hulls off and then skinning the layer off the bean) made 1.5 cups of beans.  I ate a handful while I was peeling.  I am freezing them because things are so crazy around here I don't know when we would get a chance to eat them and I did not want to let them go bad.  I think they would be fantastic in a salad or just some vinegary dressing by themselves.  I saw a very fantastic looking recipe for eating them fresh so the next picking will be for a bean salad.

I also harvested some sugar snap peas.  I have never had those before, only English Shell Peas.  Pretty good and crunchy after just blanching them for 1 minute.  My Tom Thumb Peas and Alaska Peas are flowering and beginning to set peas so it won't be long before I begin having a lot of peas.

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Four o'Clocks

Post  Windmere on 4/25/2016, 11:12 am

You mentioned your Four O'Clocks coming back.  Back home in Los Angeles, Four O'clocks pretty much grow wild.  It seems like everyone has some in their yards (including me).  Here, I've tried to get them to germinate for the last three years... each time a failure.  Did you do anything special when you first planted them? 

When I had them, the tubers could get enormous and moving them could be very laborious.  It's just ironic that I have such a hard time getting them to germinate here.

I bought some more seeds from Park, so I'm going to try again.  They will be mottled pastels.

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  yolos on 5/1/2016, 8:16 pm

This post should probably go under senseless banter but it is gardening related in that I was running out of space to put all my gardening paraphernalia.  

I cleaned out the garage (first time I will be able to park my car in the garage in 7 years).  


Cleaned all the gardening stuff off my front porch and now I can get in the front door.


Cleaned all the transplants, pots, soil etc off the back porch so I can now sit down and enjoy my rest periods.  




Cleaned out the store room downstairs so I could move all my belongings into one place so I can find what I need.



Boy this retirement sure is hard work. 
NOW ON TO GARDENING FULL TIME.   cheers  Well just maybe I should catch up on all my paperwork first, like filing my income tax return.  Nah, that can wait.

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  sanderson on 5/2/2016, 1:18 am

Shocked Shocked Beautiful and clean! Can you come here and clean up my back porch, the winter storage area for all things gardening. Embarassed

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  Windmere on 5/2/2016, 11:00 am

Wow yolos!  My wife and I are also in the process of cleaning the garage.  The last time we got the car in the garage was during that snow storm that paralyzed Atlanta.  And back then, it was to urgently protect the car (lots of shifting of stuff, but nothing cleaned and sorted). 

The garage is now cluttered again and has been since shortly after that storm.  My wife bought me organizing stuff (a stand for my tools and some chests that double as benches).  Presently, most of my bags of compost are in the garage.  1)  They are getting used up for my beds.  2)  They are going in those chests/benches.

Anyway, super nice job.  You must have an amazing feeling of accomplishment (and well deserved)!

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

Post  AtlantaMarie on 5/2/2016, 3:42 pm

How nice, Yolos! It looks so clean & peaceful. Enjoy some rest - you deserve it after getting all that cleaned up & out!

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Re: 2016 SFG in Brooks, Ga

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