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Wisconsin SFG Gardeners?

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Wisconsin SFG Gardeners?

Post  Suzy on 5/3/2016, 10:46 pm

I am just wondering if there are any fellow Wisconsinites here - when you all are talking about harvesting various crops, I am just hoping to be able to plant next week!  Shocked 

I work with 5 SFG beds, 4' x 6' each. I just turned one of them into a raspberry bed, leaving me with 4 for my veggies. My tomatoes do not get the SFG beds, they do much better actually in the ground. I have learned to be generous with the compost for them, and I use a ground cover to keep the weeds out. I'm planning a bit of creativity with my pole beans - I'll let you know if it works. My daughter suggested I use my trellis netting to span two of the boxes, giving me a space to walk as I harvest them. I tend to grow a lot of beans, they freeze well and we eat them often throughout the winter. 

I've been having difficulty growing beets, broccoli, spinach & cabbage... not sure why. 

I also am fighting two disparate pests - voles and cats. The neighborhood feral cats use my boxes for their litter box - destroying the mix and killing the seedlings. The voles are sneaky little rodents, attacking the roots of the plants. Any suggestions for combating (victoriously!) these furry fiends would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Suzy

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Re: Wisconsin SFG Gardeners?

Post  sanderson on 5/4/2016, 3:27 am

Suzy, It sounds like you have a nice sized garden. If you haven't planted anything, this is an excellent time to vole-proof the box. Remove the mix and weed fabric and install 1/4" hardware cloth to the bottom of the box. (If you have root invasion from trees or shrubbery, this would also be a good time to elevated the beds off the ground. Another subject.) Yes, it's a pain to remove all the mix but this will be a nice permanent solution.

For kitties, something as simple as plastic forks stuck partway into the mix with tines upward can help until the plants get big enough to discourage them. If they can't walk, dig and squat, they won't use the mix. Or construct a removable chicken wire cage to set over the boxes until the plants fill the box. My neighbor's cat loves my Mel's Mix and compost-amended flower beds. The plastic forks stopped the behavior.


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Re: Wisconsin SFG Gardeners?

Post  melissam41 on 5/12/2016, 11:58 am

@Suzy wrote:I am just wondering if there are any fellow Wisconsinites here - when you all are talking about harvesting various crops, I am just hoping to be able to plant next week!  Shocked 

Fellow Wisconsinite here! I know what you mean- planting time is taking forever to get here! I just heard it might snow in the northern part of the state this weekend, GEEEEZ.

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Re: Wisconsin SFG Gardeners?

Post  Suzy on 5/12/2016, 2:38 pm

Yeah, those poor Northerners! I saw a green house on wheels up there, they kept it in the garage when it was going to freeze. Made me very grateful for a "longer" growing season! 

I went to Fleet Farm today to pick up some plastic sheeting; I'm going to form a sort of greenhouse over my tomatoes & peppers that had to go in the ground or die! Supposed to get close to freezing Saturday night.  Shocked I'm glad to see another Wisconsin gardener here! Smile

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Another Badger here!

Post  mscdac on 5/13/2016, 11:37 am

I'm in Oregon, about 10 minutes south of Madison.  I was hoping to get out and plant this weekend, but we have a frost advisory on Saturday night!  Maybe Sunday I'll be able to get my peppers, onions, celery, leeks, and beans in the ground.  I haven't had luck with tomatoes in the raised beds either, they do much better in their own spot nearby.  I haven't bought my tomatoes yet, hopefully next week at the Farmer's market.

My "pest" problem is our 2 dogs.  They love to run around our yard and act like our 2 raised beds were put their for their own personal obstacle course.  Item #1 on our to-do list is to come up with some sort of fencing that's tall enough to keep them out, but easily removable to allow access to the beds.

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Re: Wisconsin SFG Gardeners?

Post  countrynaturals on 5/13/2016, 11:52 am

@mscdac wrote:My "pest" problem is our 2 dogs.  They love to run around our yard and act like our 2 raised beds were put their for their own personal obstacle course.  Item #1 on our to-do list is to come up with some sort of fencing that's tall enough to keep them out, but easily removable to allow access to the beds.
It's pricey and not exactly pretty, but portable dog fencing might work if the dogs aren't bully dogs that would just knock it over. You could even combine that with real in-ground fence posts to help strengthen the fencing, still making it easy to remove to get to your beds.

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Re: Wisconsin SFG Gardeners?

Post  Suzy on 5/15/2016, 12:33 am

@mscdac wrote:

My "pest" problem is our 2 dogs.  They love to run around our yard and act like our 2 raised beds were put their for their own personal obstacle course.  Item #1 on our to-do list is to come up with some sort of fencing that's tall enough to keep them out, but easily removable to allow access to the beds.

I have a 3' chicken wire fence around my garden space. My five garden boxes are inside. My two dogs can easily hop over it, but I have trained them to stay out. It's a barrier they need permission to cross. Smile I can step over it with no difficulty. It also somehow keeps the neighborhood rabbits out - they have not yet bothered my garden. 

I have my fingers crossed tonight - my makeshift greenhouse is holding in the wind and rain; hopefully my tomatoes will survive. I started them too early, but I had saved the seeds myself from my favorite tomatoes from two years ago. Open pollinated. I'll be able to let you all know in a few days how they have fared!

Suzy

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Re: Wisconsin SFG Gardeners?

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