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Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

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Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  robert1938 on 10/15/2017, 6:22 am

Hello everyone.
First may I say I am a completer newcomer to SFG.
I came across SFG by complete accident while wondering on You Tube I came across a guy in England showing how to build a SFG, what the heck is that I thought. So to keep it short several weeks later & a lot of reading I bought 2006 hardcover edition of SFG - bang I was hit with a bat ( cricket in my case - baseball ) Why haven't I known about this method before !!! after all I am  74yrs old.

So after partial reading SFG book I have ordered 200 lltres of 2mm / 12 mm vermiculite ( this morning ) I should add, also needed to insulate a replacement lounge wood fireplace, which I am doing at present.

Down to the veg plot, I have 6 raised beds = 4 are 6'x2' & 2 are 8'x2' and all 1.5' high ( as I am an old guy height helps with less bending Very Happy ) filled with topsoil
I have had the 6 beds for over 5 years now with hit & miss success. probably more miss.

So I now enter a era - SFG.
I intend to remove around half the old topsoil / lay a weed suppression mat on top of what topsoil is left / then add about 6" to 8" of Mel's mix cheers

Cut some of my stored wood into 6' / 8' / 2' lengths for dividers & build climbing supports and fit them as each raised bed is ready
Then start putting seeds / plants into the SFG sunny  and off I go on another adventure into gardening

Best Wishes to All
Robert


Last edited by sanderson on 10/19/2017, 11:04 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : merged 2 threads)
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Re: Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  trolleydriver on 10/15/2017, 7:49 am

Welcome Robert from Ottawa, Canada (I'm originally from Stoke-on-Trent, England). Sounds like you have a good plan. Keep us posted, show us photos and feel free to ask questions.

:canada:

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Re: Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  countrynaturals on 10/15/2017, 11:38 am

happy hi from Redding, CA (north of the worst fires).  glad you\'re here to our friendly forum. Would love to see some "before" pics of your garden setup.  geek
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Re: Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  sanderson on 10/15/2017, 12:09 pm

Robert,  Welcome to the Forum from California, U.S.! glad you\'re here I like that you have skinny, long beds.  As another elder, I find they are easier to tend than 4' wide beds.  Yes, we love photos! Very Happy

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Re: Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  plantoid on 10/15/2017, 2:29 pm

Hello Robert , I'm Plantoid aka Dave , I live just north off West end of the M4 motoreay in South Wales .

 If you look in the gallery you'll see some of my crops .in my 900 mm ( a yard ) high raised beds constructed from red engineering bricks . Mine are a yard wide in sets of six so I can work them from one side only or both sides  when my body plays up .

 Where exactly are you in Scotland ?

   We have some special threads .. when on the home page , move your courser to the top left and a creamy fawn drop down should appear .
 To my mind the most important ones in it are are the ones about making your own composts , It's taken me seven years to make all of my own by composting in Dalek type compost bins . Now I've got an annual cycle going it's  dead easy .

 In the early years I was able to turn the bin contents over & put them in an empty bin .as per the Berkley 18 day hot composting method 
However time & disabilities have taken their toll , I can't do it any more so I just let anaerobic composting take place instead of doing aerobically , using two bins . When one gets full I use the other , usually things have rotted down sufficiently by the time I need to use the first bin again . When I cant's get anything else in both bins I leave  them for six months to fully compost down then fork both into an empty bin over a few weeks of effort . Like one of the guys on here says " Compost happens " .

 I have seven bins & lids  , I had to washer & pop rivet the slide in out door to the bin body for the dog , foxes & badgers just loved trying to get to kitchen waste  inside .
 As each batch has been finally composted down I've put it in black rubble sacks  ready for using in the beds i years ahead.
If you have access to seaweed to add to your composting you're a very lucky lad .
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Thank You

Post  robert1938 on 10/16/2017, 5:10 am

Thank you all for the welcomes to my introduction.

Plantoid asked where exactly  in Scotland :- Troon Ayrshire - house is about 1/2 mile from beach

He also mentioned
"We have some special threads .. when on the home page , move your courser to the top left and a creamy fawn drop down should appear"
Tried it but nothing - I must be doing something wrong, could you please maybe give me a little hint ?
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Found it

Post  robert1938 on 10/16/2017, 5:14 am

Hi everyone,
Forget the last part of my pervious message - found the link ( idiot lol! )
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Re: Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  AtlantaMarie on 10/17/2017, 9:08 am

Hello Robert. Here's another warm welcome from the SE US - Atlanta, GA. Where is was in the mid-40's (F) this glorious morning...

Yes, pictures, please! And Plantoid will have LOTS of great information on your area... Were you affected by Ophilia?
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Re: Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  walshevak on 10/17/2017, 11:44 am

@robert1938 wrote:Thank you all for the welcomes to my introduction.

Plantoid asked where exactly  in Scotland :- Troon Ayrshire - house is about 1/2 mile from beach

 Loved my visit to Edinburgh and the lower highland area of Scotland when I lived in England.  I was posted to the American Embassy, but at their warehouse facilities in RAF Croughton, Northants.  Now live about 2 miles as the crow flies from the Atlantic Ocean in Wilmington, NC.  Welcome to the forum.

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Ophilia?

Post  robert1938 on 10/18/2017, 12:02 pm

Nope, only 70 mph wind & rain lol! 
To be honest being on the coast we have that sort of wind 4 / 5 times a year.
But having said that Ireland certainly took a battering

So we just put extra logs on the wood burner - switched on the tv and snuggled down funny post
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Ayrshire Newbie

Post  robert1938 on 10/18/2017, 12:17 pm

Hello Everyone,
I have posted a new member message but thought I should add message onto the EU site Shocked  did I say EU, slip of the tongue - European section Cool

I have 4  6ft x 2ft & 2 8ft x 2ft raised beds about 2 feet high.

Received to day 4 x 100 lit bags of vermiculite  2mm to 12mm mix (also being used to insulate a replacement new fireplace in our lounge )

Spoke with "friends" santa  who have farm about rotted farm yard manure, still in discussion.

Also had a word with our worms in the wormery today and told them to produce more worm waste - affraid  but they appear to have ignored me.

So after finishing the new fireplace, it's take out 12" or so of top soil and then line and start to add Mel's Mix and get on with it.

Know you like photo's - so I'll try and take some over the weekend to show all where I am starting from.
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Re: Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  Scorpio Rising on 10/18/2017, 8:34 pm

Welcome, Ayrshire!  Glad you found us!  Can’t wait to hear more!  Have you gardened before ?  What do you like to eat?  Weather?

glad you\'re here
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Re: Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  Scorpio Rising on 10/18/2017, 8:39 pm

Sounds good, Robert!  I am curled up watching original Star Trek reruns as I type this!!!  Welcome!
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Re: Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  sanderson on 10/19/2017, 10:32 am

I saw a video of a waterfall blown upstream by the wind.  It was somewhere in England or Scotland, I believe.

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Re: Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  countrynaturals on 10/19/2017, 11:13 am

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Sounds good, Robert!  I am curled up watching original Star Trek reruns as I type this!!!  Welcome!
Doesn't get any better than that!
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Re: Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  plantoid on 10/19/2017, 4:02 pm

Robert steer clear of neat horse muck or any  stable cleanings for the horses digestion does not kill weed seeds in the hay .

 Use any ruminant's dung & associated bedding of any fowls / poultry for composting instead , keep the pile 4x 4x 4 for best results & cover it to keep the heat in & too much water out .
 
 Dairy slurry from th milking parlour is OK but bullocks urine is a bit too strong to have much bullock's urine soaked  bedding in the mix as you'll get get a composted material that's too high in phosphates & nitrogen & it will also tend to be quite acidic


 One tip if you can grow black or normal nettles in your beds you'll be able to grow most things in the beds .
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Re: Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  robert1938 on 10/20/2017, 7:28 am

Hi Plantoid,
Thanks for the heads up information, I should have added that our small garden is "organic" and has been for nearly 15 years now.

The farm manure ( if it comes ) is from a organic cow herd, although not sure if its well rotted or not, if not part into the compost bin, rest held onto for future use.

Composts where possible are either mine ( although not good at it ) with small amount of leaf compost or organic approved compost, which may become difficult for the Five Compost sources in Mels Mix, but will need further looking at.

Vercumlite has arrived - also being used to insulate a replacement fireplace in the lounge

Now the last part of Mel's Mix, at the moment I am looking at Coco Coir instead of Peat Moss, I have used Coco Coir in the past ( after giving it a good watering & ensuring not to wet before use, we are not very keen on using Peat Moss as a non renewable.

Also started a wormery off last spring and the worm compost is coming on quite good, we have taken about 1/2 pint of liquid out and used
( diluted ) in the garden, especially the tomotaoes in the small greenhouse we have.

We do have a major problem with the amount of sun onto the raised beds during th eday, due to large tree nextdoor cutting down the sun.
Added a couple of photos off the rasied beds taken this morning - weeds included Very Happy


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Re: Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  sanderson on 10/20/2017, 1:57 pm

Thanks for the photos! Very Happy

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Re: Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  Scorpio Rising on 10/20/2017, 8:33 pm

Nice set-up!  Yes, plantoid will be most helpful as he is to all of us!  I love you
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Re: Newbie from Ayrshire, West Coast of Scotland

Post  plantoid on 10/21/2017, 7:27 am

Robert ,
I've been using 12x12x4" blocks of compacted chopped coir ever since I joined the site in place of peat moss ...I wanted to see how well a substitute it is .
 What I've discovered is that it has almost rotted away in a today's garden bed when I would have expected peat to still be well in evidence .

I got my blocks of coir off the internet .. about £10 per block  carriage free for 10 blocks at a time ... So far I've had  40 blocks still got three to use .
 Peat would have been slightly more for a pallet of compressed bales delivered . volume for volume I think the peat would have been greater when fluffed up .


I suspect that is because it has not been anaerobically preserved like peat moss .
 I've over come the problem  by using lots of composted Cyprus Leylandi  trimmings that have been out through my mulcher machine  dropped into black rubble sacks & then tied off inverted & left to compost for three years ... It seems to work along with me using my homemade dung based composts mixed with garden veg waste compost & extra straw that has been soaked several times in a liquid manure made by me from the dung based  compost .. it helps break the cellulose in the straw down .So does human pee diluted 1 litre pee to 20 litres of cold water .

 Next year I will buy a pallet of peat bales & use covers to keep sunshine & rain off it till it's in the beds  ..as I have the space to do it .

 You will always need to add compost every time you crop a square or a whole bed if you're doing a bed of carrots at a time sort of thing to o make up for what decays naturally & givers up plant food .
 

My extra peat is to try and compensate for the massive loss due to decay of the coir alone .
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