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Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

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Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  Greenbeard on 3/6/2017, 8:51 pm

This is what im planning on doing this year, just incase any of you all are interested in keeping an eye on another new person to here and the sfg ideas.

I have changed up my plans a little bit the past couple days.  tonight my goal is to get a new blueprint drafted up.

My lot is located in one of the first ring of suburbs around Minneapolis. To the South i have 1 house then an empty lot and a then a lake.  To the east i have a set of train tracks roughly 60' from where i am looking at putting in the garden that get alot of traffic around the clock.

Project One: Bridge to Terabitha 
My girlfriend found a wooden bridge on a facebook ground for cheeper then the materials cost.. so we snagged that to put into the back yard between the back patio and the garage that i use as my gaming room/miniature painting room. (it was a shop for the car guy that had the place before i took it over.)   Bridge is 12' 2" long  ive got it at the levelist spot along the path i want to put it.  

Currently its location is flagged in the yard and its sitting assembled in my car garage awaiting weather to be good enough to put another coat of outdoor paint to seal it before it goes in the yard.    

Ground is too frozen to attempt to level as of yet.

Project Two: A Three Stage Compost Bin
This is pretty straight forwards in construction and function.   its made of 3 section either 3' x 3' or 4' x 4'  (ive got both flagged just debating how much room i want in there.. as i gather a fair bit of grass from my yard and along the tracks behind four of my neighbors houses.)

I will be using 2" x 3" x96" (8') Kiln dried whitewood studs as the upright support beams.  A total of 8 of them.  Spaced either 3 or 4' apart depending on what size i decide for the short term.

For the slats ill be using 5/8" x 5.5" x 6' MCA pressure treated pine dog ear fence pickets trimmed either 3' or 4' depending on finalized size.  Dog eared portion being saved for later project.

I was intending on making them 8 pickets high (44" Tall or 3' 8") Which is the height that my very crude single stage compost is at the moment.  I may very well go 9 high.

For the upright support beams.  Ill be attaching the pickets level from the bottom with roughly 4' or so of beam above the top of the pickets.    At the very top i will be placing a picket on the inside and outside of each beam to lock them in place up top.

Ill be leaving the gate sections open as it should support itself just fine.. if not ill add some of either 3' or 4' using the dog eared sections of the pickets.

Project Three: 5 SGF sections.
I was going to build 1 H shaped section, but in my city one needs a permit for anything over 120 sq feet in foot print.   and at 9 4x4 slots that would be 144 sq feet (counting the two gated entrances)   And i did not want to have to deal with possibly needing to get one for something that i am intentionally building as short term (5 or so years maybe)  So ive revised the plans a couple different ways.    Goal tonight is to get them redrafted and ill share after i do.

Basically really similar to the compost.   Same wood, same screws.  

The difference lies in that it will be Only 5-6 Panels in height with 4-6"or so of beam above the top of the pickets. (depending on if i go 27.5" or 33" tall for the posts.   

Ill be placing 2 sections that are 12' x 4' = 96 squares
Ill be placing 2 sections that are 4' x 4' = 32 squares
Which will give me 128 squares to grow in.    For her birthday i gave my girlfriends other daughter 14 of the squares that ill maintain for her (apparently she has a black thumb)   
Far as crops.. ive got a list of some 30 different things i will eat/use.   each section will have 1 catnip and 1 sage (as everyone i know has cats and is in need of smudging)

Ill be placing 1 section that is 4'x4' over at my folks house because mom wants to give this a try too.  (that one will be adjusted to her perfect reaching height)




Project 4: Anti-skeeter protection plan
With the Dog Eared portions that remain from project 2 and 3 ill be building as many bat, owl, bird houses as i can.   Ill be placing them along the top of the compost structure, within the pines on my back fence.  and in the woods on the other side of the tracks (already asked land owner and he was ok with it)  So that i have some winged allies in hunting the many skeeters that spawn in the shallows of the two lakes im kinda between.  I dont wanna fog the yard this year as ill have a fair bit of food growing or at least the potential to Smile


Apendium
The reason im not using cedar is one price, but mostly because i want this stuff to all rot within about 5-10 years at the longest.   I do not want them to be structures with concrete footings, as i dont wanna deal with permits.  I sometimes jump into projects head first and get in with more then i can handle.   So i want to see if for five years i enjoy doing this.  If so ill build things properly to last for a good portion of the remainder of my life.   Actually contemplating building greenhouse to be able to grow in the winter time.

Each of the posts will have some kinda of solar light on the top.. either blue or purple or white if i cant find either of those that i like.   I do have multiple strings of blue christmas lights running through the pines and some small spotlights to light them up at night.


TDLR: Have a great first day of the rest of your life Smile
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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 3/6/2017, 9:36 pm

Thanks for sharing, Greenbeard! Looks like a lot of work, but you've got a plan.
I'm curious to know what the 30 plants are. Smile
Smudge sticks, nifty!
http://yougrowgirl.com/homegrown-smudge-sticks/
It looks like white sage may be borderline for growing as a perennial in your climate. I had trouble keeping rosemary alive over the winter where I am, but a WallOWater seems to be doing a good job so far - though winter isn't over yet...so we'll see!
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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  ralitaco on 3/7/2017, 12:02 am

Wow!! You have a heck of a to do list!

I look forward to seeing pictures of your progress as you build your many structures.

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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  sanderson on 3/7/2017, 12:03 am

@Greenbeard wrote:. . .
Project Two: A Three Stage Compost Bin
This is pretty straight forwards in construction and function.   its made of 3 section either 3' x 3' or 4' x 4'  (ive got both flagged just debating how much room i want in there.. as i gather a fair bit of grass from my yard and along the tracks behind four of my neighbors houses.)

I will be using 2" x 3" x96" (8') Kiln dried whitewood studs as the upright support beams.  A total of 8 of them.  Spaced either 3 or 4' apart depending on what size i decide for the short term.

For the slats ill be using 5/8" x 5.5" x 6' MCA pressure treated pine dog ear fence pickets trimmed either 3' or 4' depending on finalized size.  Dog eared portion being saved for later project.

I was intending on making them 8 pickets high (44" Tall or 3' 8") Which is the height that my very crude single stage compost is at the moment.  I may very well go 9 high.
A 3' cube is 27 cu. ft. to turn.  A 4 foot cube is 64 cu. ft. to turn.  Sometimes, that becomes the determining factor.  Razz

Can't wait to see your photos.

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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  ralitaco on 3/7/2017, 12:39 am

I'm glad I went with 3'x3'. I still have to finish sifting and turning last years compost. I can't imagine if I had a 4x4.
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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  Greenbeard on 3/7/2017, 2:56 am


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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  Greenbeard on 3/7/2017, 3:10 am

My old yard map ended up having some pop spill on it and got ruined so i had to make that one i just posted up tonight.

First off you will notice a big solid line going across the whole to right of the gaming garage/firepit   That is a powerline overhead that marks the edge of the easement from the rail line.    That chain fence around the pine trees and wild flowers all has some sorta exemption as the whole section is at least 15' farther back then all the other houses west of me along the tracks.  Ive got a trio of wood storage spots back there that im testing out over a couple years to see which lasts better before i build permi storage under the pines.  Nothing except wood storage can go beyond that line.

Ill take some photos in the daylight hours as well.  Cuz frankly i have a few questions about what the wildflower growing under the pines are, and what two different types of shurbs i have in the yard are.

After reading replies here and a couple other places ive posted in the past day. i decided to do a series of 2' squares along the side of the back patio so that she can reach them from her chair and not have to deal with having the pca or one of us push her thru the grass to weed.   (thinking easier so more like-ly to try).  I just have to adjust them so i can still get the lawn mower into that bottom left corner of the first picture.  thats my highest most level ground.. but its also shady 3/4 of the day.

The area between the deck and the gaming den slopes down at a somewhat step angle that im gonna measure tomorrow as ive got a string level that will be delivered tomorrow. 

The lowest point in the yard is past the yellow circle, near that gate into neighbors yard.  Significantly lower then the bit where im looking at putting the two long sections.

to the right (south) of the gaming den you can see the outline for the 4x4 and the cardboard marking the 3x3 compost sections.     Just cuz i build the 4x4 does not mean i need to fill it all the way to the top.  still debating.  I dont want to put it up against the neighbors fence, as i like those neighbors and they may think im weird if i put a bat/bird hotel up right along their fence..  So i want to put it in a bit and sheltered from the sun by the pines.
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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  Greenbeard on 3/7/2017, 3:18 am

Basil, Green Beans, Cabbage, Baby Carrot, Big Carrots,
Celery, Cherry Tomatoes, Chives, Cilantro, yellow corn;
White corn, Dill, Garlic, Hot Peppers, Garlic,
Lavender, Gourd, Red Onion, White Onion, Oregano,
Catnip, Parsley, Peas, Green Peppers, Red Peppers,
Pumpkin, Potato, Rosemary, Sage, Spearment,
Strawberry, Raspberry, Blueberry, Thyme

34 not 30.. but close.. I have yet to search what of those will be hardy enough to grow here.  and still awaiting the list of 14 things from the either my girlfriend or her elder daughter.
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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  Greenbeard on 3/7/2017, 6:34 am












Heres a whole lot of pictures of the yard with flags and pvp layed out for a visual if the map dont work good.. and also doubles are before the work is started pictures
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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/7/2017, 7:21 am

Looks like you've got a plan...and lots of work ahead of you! cyclops

Do you plan on putting the mint/catnip in your SFG beds?

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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  sanderson on 3/7/2017, 2:14 pm

Love the lights in the yard.  Corn needs a block of room for growing, like a 4' x 4' bed.  That ensures pollination.  Maybe in their own bed on the ground of 2" x 8"?  Raspberry and blueberry can be grown in their own rows outside the boxes.  How far away will the garden boxes be from the trees and bushes?  Their roots love to come up in the SFG boxes for a nutritious snack. Razz  Table top beds prevent this from happening. Wink

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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  Greenbeard on 3/7/2017, 3:05 pm

End goal is to replace the tall shubs in one of the photos with the berry bushes.   And end up with some edables that will end up being able to be planted under the pines.   Ive got raspberry and blueberry and grapes at my folks in the ground.   

Im kinda looking at the SFG as a plant starter almost.  as in id put the stuff in there for a year or two if it takes.. move it to the yard where i want it to live.

The row of pines is roughly 28 feet from the 2 long squares.    
The tall unknown shurbs are roughly 35 feet from the same squares.
The short unknown shurbs along the backside of the house vary with where i place the little slips of cardboard.    The Grid of that map is 5' per square.  I could do the corn in a smaller bed on their own.  no issue with that.   Ive got mels book coming but you know ebay.. sometimes very quickly sometimes slowly.

Is there any reason i wouldnt want to put the mint or catnips into the SFG?  I know catnips grows just fine here. I grew a line of of about a dozen plants outside the fence last year.
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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  Kelejan on 3/7/2017, 4:13 pm

@sanderson wrote:
@Greenbeard wrote:. . .
Project Two: A Three Stage Compost Bin
This is pretty straight forwards in construction and function.   its made of 3 section either 3' x 3' or 4' x 4'  (ive got both flagged just debating how much room i want in there.. as i gather a fair bit of grass from my yard and along the tracks behind four of my neighbors houses.)

I will be using 2" x 3" x96" (8') Kiln dried whitewood studs as the upright support beams.  A total of 8 of them.  Spaced either 3 or 4' apart depending on what size i decide for the short term.

For the slats ill be using 5/8" x 5.5" x 6' MCA pressure treated pine dog ear fence pickets trimmed either 3' or 4' depending on finalized size.  Dog eared portion being saved for later project.

I was intending on making them 8 pickets high (44" Tall or 3' 8") Which is the height that my very crude single stage compost is at the moment.  I may very well go 9 high.
A 3' cube is 27 cu. ft. to turn.  A 4 foot cube is 64 cu. ft. to turn.  Sometimes, that becomes the determining factor.  Razz

Can't wait to see your photos.

That will be the determining factor on the size of my next compost bin. The 4x4 takes forever to fill and turn.

The same reason I now make 6 x 3 beds instead of 4 x 4 . I am a shorty with arms to match and when I work in my 4x4s I am liable to fall in them. Can;t wait for all my 4x4s to rot. Very Happy
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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/7/2017, 6:33 pm

I wish I had a mere fraction of your space!

Cats will be drawn to your SFG beds if you include catmint/catnip, and they do have a tendency to consider those beds to be litter boxes.  It's probably wiser to plant those elsewhere in the garden area, or in pots.

As far as I know, the hardiest rosemary variety is Arp.  I tried Barbecue for a couple of years, and it died. 

Try not to use pressurized wood, since it often contains toxic chemicals.
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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  Greenbeard on 3/7/2017, 6:36 pm

im taller at 6'2", girlfriend is 5' 1.5", her daughter in the chair is 4' 9".  
32" is a good easy no bending reach.   38" tall would be perfect waist height for me.
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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  RoOsTeR on 3/7/2017, 8:00 pm

@Greenbeard wrote:
Is there any reason i wouldnt want to put the mint or catnips into the SFG?  

@donnainzone5 wrote:Cats will be drawn to your SFG beds if you include catmint/catnip, and they do have a tendency to consider those beds to be litter boxes. It's probably wiser to plant those elsewhere in the garden area, or in pots.

There is the cat attraction mentioned, and mint/catnip can be pretty invasive.

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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  sanderson on 3/7/2017, 11:48 pm

Mint and catnip can run amok, self seeding and invading other spaces.

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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/8/2017, 11:25 am

+1, and it doesn't take long.

I was given a small cutting of cat mint two or three years ago.  In summer, it approaches 4' in diameter.  I suppose I'll have to use an organic pre-emergent product to keep all the seeds from sprouting.

Still, the cats (and bees) love it.
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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  sanderson on 3/8/2017, 9:46 pm

Greenbeard, I sent you a PM (Private Message). See blinking red light in upper bar of Home page.

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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  Greenbeard on 3/9/2017, 4:11 am

amazing details on that walk through.   MANY Thanks.  I have soo much pvc atm (there was a big pile of various sizes up in the gaming dens attic.  I really like the cupholder idea.  Your fairly certain that one of those would be able to handle a heavy train vibration and not fall over with all the weight of the mm and plants?

I spent most of feb watching howtwos in the kindle.   At the end of the month i really liked how this guy built his U.. so i was going to modify it to the whole H shaped thing.   I really liked how he did the rabbit fence, thats kinda what i ment in reguards to "bummpers" on the side.
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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  Greenbeard on 3/9/2017, 6:43 pm

So after looking at my map, and drawing things out.   Added a few lines to mark traffic flow how i walk.. so how it will end up with walk ways through the yard.

Also decided for first really big project like this i will scale it back a little bit.  

Along the side of the patio im going to 6 panels high, 3' out so ive gotta walk around the back side to get to last row of plants, or reach over the others.   This will give me 60 squares of growing area.   Which by my reckoning will be enough to teach me if i enjoy this or if i just want to decorative plants and shrubs to the yard as are currently here.

The side effect of this size will allow me to build a very slighter smaller 3 section compost area with each of the three bays being about 30" square as i can use exactly the number of "scrap' pickets ill be using for the garden section and just trimming off the 3" or so pointed sections of them and still make it 8 high.

This drops the materials cost for lumber and screws to about half the price. 
The rabbit fence will cost nothing but time, as i already have plenty of wood that will work for that and dad has a couple hundred feet of the chicken wire, just randomly up in his garage.

Sanderson.  I will try that one you showed me how to make for the one i am going to make for my mom at her place.
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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  Greenbeard on 3/9/2017, 6:46 pm

By the tracks on the outside of my fence, i was thinking of just sewing some random native plant seeds and letting the wildflower grow as they will in the full sun out there.  With mint and catnip being so invasive,  perhaps i could put a couple on the outside so any feral cats in the area get pulled outside my yard and not inside of into the giant litter boxes..
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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  Greenbeard on 3/26/2017, 7:51 am

Just wanted to update things here for you all about my gardening plans this summer.










The first photo is the left side of the future raised bed (high enough to access from a wheelchair comfortably) The flags are placed on the correct from patio out measurements, just randomly along the outside line. 3' from the patio.


The second photo up to that stick at flag 3 is connected to the area in the first photo. then from the flag 4past it to where the concrete ends near the garage is the second half of the garden.


I'll be adding a Gate between the section 1 and house, between the two sections, and a third one between section 2 and garage.

All in all this will give me 60 squares for most of the day direct sunlight..


There will be a walkway between those pvc pipes in photo 2 actually going over a bridge leading towards the 2nd garage in the middle of back yard (was a shop when i got the house that i turned into a game room for tabletop RPGs and wargames)


Third photo is the crude compost bin i threw up last fall to throw my leaves and the grass cuttings and char from the firepit. It will end up being 3 sections 3'x3' with gates and a ladder leading up to the roof of that garage.


(the pvc back there is 4x4 and thats a tad too big.. and honestly i can use the extra wood from building the raised beds to build this and only need to purchase the few up/down beams. So its alot cheeper then making it 4x4.


Pictures 4 and 5 are of some unknown wildflowers that moved themselves into the area under my pines and looked amazing last year so i didnt remove them. If anyone knows what it is, id love to know.


Last edited by Greenbeard on 3/26/2017, 7:54 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : forgot to attach the photos)
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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/27/2017, 7:07 am

Hi Greenbeard. I'm AtlantaMarie from... Atlanta, GA. Sorry I missed greeting you when you joined. I was out of town... So here's your official welcome from my little part of heaven on earth!

Blueberries make great hedges, although a little thin. And they'll be happy with that pine straw! (That's what we've got in front of our house.)

On putting the owl boxes in the pine trees - just keep in mind that pines soak up heat. I don't know much about owls and whether they like a lot of heat or not... Bats do! And I'd also recommend bat boxes.

Looks like you've got a wonderful space there for everyone.... I'm looking forward to seeing your progress!

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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 3/27/2017, 9:08 am

Thanks for sharing, Greenbeard!

I love playing "What's this bug?" "What's this plant/flower?" is almost as fun. Identifying from the dead stalks alone is pretty challenging, particularly without a description of the flowers. My guess is an aster, maybe this one:
https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/calico-aster

I'm probably not right because I'm not going on much besides how similar wildflowers look dead in my area. You maybe able to identify it yourself by going to this site- I've sometimes used it to help ID plants in Pennsylvania because it's a well-organized site:
https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/
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BeetlesPerSqFt

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Re: Bryan Greenbeard of Minnesota's 2017 Plans

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