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Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

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Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  MeghanSTL on 1/15/2017, 9:40 pm

Sweet 100






Amish Paste

Brandywine                   
Sweet 100                 





Amish Paste                     


Brandywine
Beans


Beans


Beans



CukesCukesCukes
Peas

                
Peas         Peas         Cukes        Cukes        Cukes        
Pepper   
   

Pepper



     
Carrot      Onions      Zucc      Zucc      
Pepper



Pepper


GarlicGarlicZuccZucc
I have (2) boxes that are 6' X 4' X 1'. North is @ the top. The tomatoes & zucchini will have 4 squares each. I cage my tomatoes and do not prune much. I plan to have two trellises running through the "top" two rows of beans/peas/cucumbers. I am planning one cucumber per square foot. The garlic cannot move because I planted it last fall. Wondering what you all think?

Last year was my first year with a SFG. I always kind of planted this way (never in rows) just not quite so planned as a SFG. We had some set backs (tried to transplant zucchini, they all died) and learned a lot. I did not trellis the cucumbers last year and they took over, even with one plant per 2 squares. Also, I have always planted everything all on one day so that has been an adjustment. This is the first year I will start my own transplants of tomatoes and peppers. This will also be the first year I have ever grown beans (trail of tears black bean) or peas (amish snap). We are planning on a couple rows of corn in the ground too. I am itching for spring to get here and have been daydreaming of my garden all the time.
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/16/2017, 8:01 am

Hi MeghanSTL. Welcome from Atlanta, GA! Glad you've joined us.

Question: What kind of carrots are you planning on? Most carrots will want a 12" deep box... Will you be putting a "top hat" on that square (if not one of the shorter specialty types of carrots)?

I think it's a pretty good plan...

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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  MeghanSTL on 1/16/2017, 11:39 am

@AtlantaMarie wrote:
Question:  What kind of carrots are you planning on?  Most carrots will want a 12" deep box...  Will you be putting a "top hat" on that square (if not one of the shorter specialty types of carrots)?

I just discovered seed catalogs. I had only ever bought seed from my local nursery or HD or whatever. I had bought a bunch of seeds from Park Seed, then I realized they ship them "at the best planting time for your zone" and won"t get them until mid-March. So then of course a got a bunch more seed from Seed Savers Very Happy So I have Danvers from that purchase. I want to say I have Nantes on the way. I have accumulated quite the seed collection, for me anyways. My beds are 12" high. I was playing around with a "top hat" as you say. I had rather scrawny carrots last year but I am wondering if that was partly because I sowed them along with everything else, probably around the end of April?

I am planning on planting lettuce, spinach, kale, radishes around the perimeter of the tomatoes thinking they will be finished before the tomatoes really get going and need the space? Then I figure when the cucumbers have worn themselves out I can plant more lettuce etc for the fall. Last year was the first time I grew more than tomatoes & peppers so I am still getting used to the idea of planting at various times in the year, fall harvest, etc. 

My poor tomatoes outgrew those flimsy cages and toppled over. They were sprawled all over the ground but we got lots and lots of tomatoes so I just said heck with it. I bought 6 of these "texas tomato cages" which appear much sturdier.
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  yolos on 1/16/2017, 2:13 pm

@MeghanSTL wrote:
My poor tomatoes outgrew those flimsy cages and toppled over. They were sprawled all over the ground but we got lots and lots of tomatoes so I just said heck with it. I bought 6 of these "texas tomato cages" which appear much sturdier.
I also have the Texas Tomato Cages.  I bought the extensions so the cages are about 8 feet tall.  With my long growing season the tomatoes still grow taller than the cages.  The cages take up a lot of room but they are sturdy.  I also put a sturdy stake in the middle of the cage and tie the main stem to the stake to keep the main stem from kind of collapsing on itself.
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  MeghanSTL on 1/16/2017, 7:28 pm

I have not bought the extensions yet but I am planning on it. I thought they only made them 6' though? That's probably a good idea, putting a stake in the center. I'm not too worried if they get taller than the cages. Last year they just bent at the top and then kept growing (the ones that didn't fall over that is). Didn't look too pretty but if I make the cages any taller I won't be able to reach anything anyway, I'm only 5'  Laughing
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  sanderson on 1/17/2017, 2:00 pm

Meghan, Something I tried this summer, that I learned from Yolos, was to "sandwich" the peas and beans between the trellises. That would mean using 3 trellises, putting a trellis at Zero foot, 1 foot and the 2 foot mark.

Zucchini really spread out so I would either plant one in the 4 corner squares, near the corner, so it can fall over the sides, or build a separate 18-24" square box for each plant.

Can't wait to see your photos. Very Happy

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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  MeghanSTL on 1/26/2017, 6:42 pm

@sanderson wrote:Meghan,  Something I tried this summer, that I learned from Yolos, was to "sandwich" the peas and beans between the trellises.  That would mean using 3 trellises, putting a trellis at Zero foot, 1 foot and the 2 foot mark.

Zucchini really spread out so I would either plant one in the 4 corner squares, near the corner, so it can fall over the sides, or build a separate 18-24" square box for each plant.

Can't wait to see your photos. Very Happy

I'll have to try the "sandwich method" Thanks!

There will only be one zucchini plant, in those 4sq ft. I just couldn't figure out how to drop my file in from open office or how to make the table feature behave how I wanted it to, I didn't want any squares to appear empty. Technology and me don't get along  Very Happy
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  Scorpio Rising on 1/27/2017, 9:11 pm

Nice looking plan, Megan!  You might want to put the stuff that doesn't need harvesting, like garlic, in the middle squares....otherwise, lookin good!
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  MeghanSTL on 2/17/2017, 4:42 pm

The weather here has been unusually warm, highs the past two days up to the 70s. I took it as an opportunity to get out in the garden. Last year was the first year with the raised beds. My fiancé John made them by hand, he is very particular and they ended up costing a pretty penny by the time they were complete, although they will last a long long time as they were made out of cedar.  We just couldn't justify the cost of filling two 4 x 6 beds with Mel's mix, they are 12 inches deep. We filled them with a "raised garden bed mix" from a local composting place. I am not very happy with the quality of it, it dries out very quickly and has lots of big chunks, although the veggies did very well last year. The soil level sunk  4 inches so I figured I might as well top them off proper with Mel's mix and again next year and that should be close to his recommended 6 inches. The nursery down the street had vermiculite $24.99 a bag. I also got mushroom, cotton burr, and cow manure  compost at  a very reasonable price there too I found out the city has free compost at a local park from yard waste. I got some today and was impressed, it is dark and rich looking. 




We are housesitting for his parents next weekend. They have a small farm and a couple of horses. His mom has some rotted manure  set aside for her garden and the hay fields  and she said I could have some. Only a gardener calls up her mother-in-law to ask for horse poop. Very Happy That brings me up to my five sources of compost.

I really did not like the idea of linseed oil or any other kind of common sealant as we were going to be putting vegetables in the beds. I found this stuff online called Vermont natural coatings and we used that. You do have to apply a new coat every year though. I don't mind because it gives me an excuse to get outside. Here's a before and after








 I planted two squares of garlic last fall I thought I had lost one over the winter but I found him poking up while I was out there. Yay! I never got around to covering them with mulch so I thought they were goners. We've had a very mild winter this year plus the guy at the garden shop told me he never covers his and they do just fine every year. Here's the late bloomer

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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/17/2017, 10:43 pm

YK
@MeghanSTL wrote:The weather here has been unusually warm, highs the past two days up to the 70s. I took it as an opportunity to get out in the garden. Last year was the first year with the raised beds. My fiancé John made them by hand, he is very particular and they ended up costing a pretty penny by the time they were complete, although they will last a long long time as they were made out of cedar.  We just couldn't justify the cost of filling two 4 x 6 beds with Mel's mix, they are 12 inches deep. We filled them with a "raised garden bed mix" from a local composting place. I am not very happy with the quality of it, it dries out very quickly and has lots of big chunks, although the veggies did very well last year. The soil level sunk  4 inches so I figured I might as well top them off proper with Mel's mix and again next year and that should be close to his recommended 6 inches. The nursery down the street had vermiculite $24.99 a bag. I also got mushroom, cotton burr, and cow manure  compost at  a very reasonable price there too I found out the city has free compost at a local park from yard waste. I got some today and was impressed, it is dark and rich looking. 




We are housesitting for his parents next weekend. They have a small farm and a couple of horses. His mom has some rotted manure  set aside for her garden and the hay fields  and she said I could have some. Only a gardener calls up her mother-in-law to ask for horse poop. Very Happy That brings me up to my five sources of compost.

I really did not like the idea of linseed oil or any other kind of common sealant as we were going to be putting vegetables in the beds. I found this stuff online called Vermont natural coatings and we used that. You do have to apply a new coat every year though. I don't mind because it gives me an excuse to get outside. Here's a before and after








 I planted two squares of garlic last fall I thought I had lost one over the winter but I found him poking up while I was out there. Yay! I never got around to covering them with mulch so I thought they were goners. We've had a very mild winter this year plus the guy at the garden shop told me he never covers his and they do just fine every year. Here's the late bloomer

Nice gardens!  Keep us posted, Meghan! sunny
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  ralitaco on 2/19/2017, 9:42 pm

I apologize, but I have a pet peeve. Here are your photos rotated.




On another note, those boxes look FANTASTIC!
And I am jealous, that compost looks really nice, you are quite lucky to have a free source.
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  MeghanSTL on 2/19/2017, 10:07 pm

@ralitaco wrote:I apologize, but I have a pet peeve. Here are your photos rotated.




On another note, those boxes look FANTASTIC!
And I am jealous, that compost looks really nice, you are quite lucky to have a free source.

How did you do that?? I could not figure it out, trust me it was bothering me too.

He worked very hard on those boxes. The joints are mortise and tenon "because it's stronger that way", literally hours chiseling those.  Shocked If it were up to me, I;d have just slapped some nails in some boards and been done with it. 

The city has this recycling program. All the alley dumpsters have a regular trash one, a recycle one (just toss it all in there, they sort it for you!), and yard waste. I guess they take all the yard waste and turn it into free mulch and compost for city residents. Now I know where to get my compost from!  Very Happy
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  Scorpio Rising on 2/19/2017, 10:15 pm

Nice!  Love it!  Thanks for the rotation, plantoid!  

Looks like you guys are gonna be eating some veggies!
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  ralitaco on 2/20/2017, 9:43 am

@MeghanSTL wrote:How did you do that?? I could not figure it out, trust me it was bothering me too.
I am guessing you used an iphone to take the photos...IOS and Windows use slightly different formats for their photos. All I did was: download them, look at them by double clicking them (they opened in Windows Photo Viewer properly oriented), rotated them so they showed sideways, closed the photo viewer, opened them again, rotated them to correct orientation, uploaded them to the forum.

@MeghanSTL wrote:He worked very hard on those boxes. The joints are mortise and tenon "because it's stronger that way", literally hours chiseling those.
I could tell he worked hard on them before you mentioned he chiselled the mortise and tenons. WOW!! (For future reference, as a gift idea, get him a router and the appropriate bits and he can knock those out in minutes)


@MeghanSTL wrote:The city has this recycling program...I guess they take all the yard waste and turn it into free mulch and compost for city residents. Now I know where to get my compost from!
That is wonderful.
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  sanderson on 2/21/2017, 2:10 am

Beautiful boxes! Cheers to your husband.

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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  MeghanSTL on 3/4/2017, 6:59 pm

The weather is once again amazing here. I'm loving it except for this voice in the back of my head going "the earth is dying!" *almost* ruins it. Almost lol Got a lot done today. Transplanted kale, planted 3 types of spinach (america, tyee, riverside), two types of lettuce (tennis ball & seed savers' mix), cherry bell radishes, green bunching onions, carrots (danvers), and sugar snap peas. The fiance helped me get the trellises assembled, tomorrow I'll attach the netting. It might be too early for some of it, but I figure if nothing comes up or if it fails I can always plant more. I've got spring fever bad! 

Oh, also spray painted this planter I use for my herbs which was starting to loom sad. It's one of those stacked/tiered ones, it got so faded from the sun. The boy picked out some lime green shade which I was surprised by, I'm normally the one that goes for all the loud colorful stuff. It looks super cute now, not sad at all anymore.  Very Happy And I repotted my poor neglected aloe plant. Which, really, was just an excuse to get a new pot! 

I'll try to upload some pictures tomorrow. Cheers!

ETA: The spinach, lettuce etc went on the "outskirts" of where the tomatoes will go. I figure they'll all be finished but the time the tomatoes need the space.
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  MeghanSTL on 3/6/2017, 11:28 am

We decided 6 foot long trellises for too long without support in the middle. We had a heck of a time finding the T connectors for the middle support so I thought I'd share what we did.  We used 1/2" electrical conduit and rebar like Mel suggests. You'll need the following pieces




The inside of the T connectors are not threaded so you'll need the set screw connectors to put it all together. Just attach one set screw connector to each end of the T connector.




As you can see I got the netting up today. Below is my refurbished herb planter. I think it turned out rather cute Smile



 Ignore our sad looking deck. That's next weekend's project


Last edited by MeghanSTL on 3/6/2017, 11:42 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Edited to reorient pictures)
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  sanderson on 3/6/2017, 6:14 pm

Meghan, Looking good! The photos of the hardware are informative.

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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  ralitaco on 3/7/2017, 12:06 am

Those look great! I'm sure they will last a long time and won't sag.

In looking at what you have done, I am wondering if you could eliminate the set screw connectors. I am thinking that you could slide the T box over a continuous piece of conduit. Then position it where you want use some self tapping screws to lock it in place. Then do the same thing with the center vertical post.
Just me tinkering in my head and thinking out loud.


Oh and the planter looks great. My DW just told me she wants one like that...who knew?
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  MeghanSTL on 3/8/2017, 10:17 pm

@ralitaco wrote:Those look great! I'm sure they will last a long time and won't sag.

In looking at what you have done, I am wondering if you could eliminate the set screw connectors. I am thinking that you could slide the T box over a continuous piece of conduit. Then position it where you want use some self tapping screws to lock it in place. Then do the same thing with the center vertical post.
Just me tinkering in my head and thinking out loud.


Oh and the planter looks great. My DW just told me she wants one like that...who knew?

Yeah we tried that...and about 20 other ways walking all over HD. I said it backwards in my last post -- the T connector is threaded, you have to use the set screw basically to make the connection point with the EMT not threaded, then you just tighten it in place just like the elbows do. I guess some may find another way to do it but we could not. I searched all over online/the forum and couldn't find anyone doing it with a cross support. They must be sturdy, they withstood some strong "tornado watch" style wind & rain.
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  GWN on 3/8/2017, 10:37 pm

I really like your system,  it seems like it will support the growth
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 3/8/2017, 10:43 pm

My electrical conduit trellises were 8ft across back of the 4x8 bed, and I think 8ft high. I did not use a middle support. They did sag by the end of the season (noticeably, but not dramatically), and I did end up having to support them with additional guide ropes going from the top bar to the farthest edge of the bed to keep the uprights vertical. I either didn't set my rebar deep enough and/or the soil get wet enough that they tilted. This year I might pipe-strap them to the bed, in addition to adding ropes as the tomato plants get heavy and start to unbalance them.
This shape, not necessarily this size:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/1-1-2-in-Steel-2-Hole-Pipe-Strap-HD502-6PK/202273989
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  sanderson on 3/8/2017, 10:50 pm

BPSF, Thank you for including a link to a photo. Helpful. I have also used those straps as they are relatively inexpensive.  Also, plumber's tape in a pinch.  Now, most of my beds have the 1" PVC "cup holders" for trellises and cover frames, but that's just me playing in the garden. Smile

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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  ralitaco on 3/8/2017, 10:58 pm

@MeghanSTL wrote:...and about 20 other ways walking all over HD.
Been there, done that...last time was trying to recreate a tension bar for an old 8mm movie project Mad
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Re: Feedback for my 2017 garden plan

Post  MeghanSTL on 4/28/2017, 5:41 pm

I've been able to harvest some of my radishes and spinach. These are early globe radishes and America Spinach.




This is my tomato bed, with spinach, radishes, lettuce, kale in the extra space for now. I had to put pinwheels in in an effort to deter those darn dirty squirrels. I'm hoping they'll give it up when my plants have matured, as they've done in the past. 

This is my other bed. I have peas halfway up the trellis. The garlic is doing well. Carrots coming along nicely. The peppers did not mind being transplanted at all. I've recently planted beans, cucumbers, and my one lonely zucchini. 


Here's my parsley and oregano I grew from seed, they've also taken well to their new home.






I've been itching to get my annual flowers in but Mother Nature is not cooperating. My poor tomatoes are not too happy at being transplanted, I have extra on standby, we'll see how they fare in the next couple weeks.
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