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Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

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I like a good jungle

Post  crankyoldman on 3/16/2018, 6:32 pm

All my beds are raised high enough so that I can work them without kneeling, sometimes the plants take on a jungle look. Two years ago I planted 36 tomatoes in a 4X12 SFG bed. They were all indeterment types so I ended up with something around 6X14 feet of tomato vines so I can relate to you finding it hard to move around your beds. When the heat here finally stopped tomato production I had more vines than would fit in my compost bin.

Looking at the photos of your garden makes me recall a fellow who was referred to me for help starting a garden. I gave him advice and sent him off to ponder how to do what he wanted to proceed. He decided to pass on gardening because he could not afford to do fancy beds, he would not even consider starting small and working up to more. He wanted to start out with about 200 square feet with drip irrigation; the $3000.00+ price tag chased him off.

After retirement I wanted to raise some veggies, I started off with 4 Homer buckets from Home Depot and a half dozen old cat litter pans.

Today is the first time in over a year that I have heard from the forum, where y'all been?
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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  sanderson on 3/17/2018, 12:25 am

@crankyoldman wrote: When the heat here finally stopped tomato production I had more vines than would fit in my compost bin.
I have found that if I can get the tomatoes and peppers through the hotest part of the summer, they come alive in the fall and produce like mad.

Today is the first time in over a year that I have heard from the forum, where y'all been?
We've been right here!

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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/17/2018, 7:15 am

Hi Crankyoldman. Sounds like you must have received that newsletter too....

Not sure where that came from. That's the 1st one I've seen. But glad it brought you "home" to us!!
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Tomatoes

Post  crankyoldman on 3/17/2018, 1:02 pm

Interesting your mention of getting tomatoes through the heat of summer. That is hard to do here in the desert southwest, one-hundred and teen temps with humidity sometimes in single digits makes growing anything difficult from mid June to September.

However, I have at present a tomato plant that I started the seed for last July, planted into a plant bag August 15th and am still picking tomatoes from. It started setting on fruit about October 15th and produced all through the winter months. The only special care I gave it was covering it when the nights were below 50 degrees.
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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  sanderson on 3/17/2018, 6:14 pm

My temps only get to 110*F in the hot part of the summer. I have rigged overhead shade cloth so the plants get some relief from the sun in the second half of the day. Yes, October is a good month.

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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  sanderson on 3/19/2018, 3:06 pm

Every day, 3 bees and one hummingbird visit the kale flowers. I didn't know HB could get anything from the kale flowers. ??

Juicing the last of the oranges for freezing. It's hard to tell but that one huge orange is as big as the 2-cup measuring cup.

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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  trolleydriver on 3/19/2018, 3:14 pm

@sanderson wrote:Every day, 3 bees and one hummingbird visit the kale flowers.  I didn't know HB could get anything from the kale flowers. ??

Juicing the last of the oranges for freezing.  It's hard to tell but that one huge orange is as big as the 2-cup measuring cup.  
WOW what a haul!  I can almost taste them.

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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  sanderson on 3/19/2018, 7:32 pm

Dwarf Washington Navel - easy to peel, seedless, sweet and juicy. I put up 20 cups last night, about half of the haul. I'm saving that big one for Ken for when he gets back from Florida.

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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  Kate888 on 3/19/2018, 7:38 pm

@sanderson wrote:Every day, 3 bees and one hummingbird visit the kale flowers.  I didn't know HB could get anything from the kale flowers. ??

Juicing the last of the oranges for freezing.  It's hard to tell but that one huge orange is as big as the 2-cup measuring cup.  
Wow!  Fabulous!  Living where oranges can't be grown makes it seem even more wonderful.
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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  sanderson on 3/19/2018, 7:47 pm

I know. California has it's problems, but weather isn't one of them. We planted it in 1996.

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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  sanderson on 3/19/2018, 7:54 pm

Seedlings. I had to reseed 4 of the tomatoes pots. Of course they were my favorites!

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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/20/2018, 12:59 pm

mmm...I love oranges!!!

Why did you have to reseed the tomatoes?
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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  sanderson on 3/20/2018, 4:03 pm

Did not germinate. Sad

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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  sanderson on 4/1/2018, 4:00 am

After receiving 3"of rain recently, the weather has been in the 70s and 80s.  My seedlings are small but they are now outdoors, at least until the rain next weekend.  I have had trouble with my iPhone emailing photos to the PC, so I haven't been able to post any photos until today.

I'm in the process of amending the beds with homemade compost.  First I remove the wood grids or serpentine strings and the driplines.  Then dump in buckets of compost and roughly turning it under.  Replace the grid work and driplines.  The following photos are a 2' x 7' bed being amended and converted for summer.

It looked like this during the winter.  (Photo is actually a similar 2' x 8' bed.)  Yikes!  The ground looked so ugly before the wood chips were spread.

Here is the 2' x 7' bed being amended and the PVC winter frames being swapped out for the tall overhead summer frames.  Compost has been added and the serpentine string restrung and the drip lines replaced in the bed.

I store sets of frames in heavy plastic sleeves, cut to size.  The bottom is sealed using the seal-a-meal.  The tall poles are still in the bag in this photo and the winter gable frames will, in turn, be knocked apart and stored in the bag until October.

Meanwhile, I started a new batch in the Lifetime Composter on March 26, using leaves, soaked alfalfa pellets, and veggies.  It was filled up to the top after this photo was taken.

On day 2, March 27, it had shrunk quite a bit so I topped it off with more leaves, soaked alfalfa pellets, and gasp! expired canned food and packages!  Tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, oranges, cream of mushroom and celery soup, grains, canned cherries, beef broth, etc.!  Days 3, 4, 5 and 6 the temps reached 131*F, 148*F, 160*F and 160*F.  I have been turning it once a day to provide fresh oxygen and to let off some steam.  It was filled to the top ate this photo was taken.

Day 6 after another turning and probe thermometer replaced.

Last photo, I promise.  Last order from Baker Creek arrived.

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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/1/2018, 7:52 am

Looks good, Sanderson!

You should have told me about luffa & stevia... I have seeds here I could have sent you, lol!
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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/1/2018, 8:18 am

What a fabulous update, Sanderson! You can never post enough photos. Your photos are always wonderful, and this seasonal changeover is a great tutorial. Your greens make me salivate.
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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  countrynaturals on 4/1/2018, 11:49 am

S, you make me soooo tired. I think I'll go back to bed.  sawing logs
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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  sanderson on 4/1/2018, 2:12 pm

Thank you, folks. I'm never quite sure how much I should post.

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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  farmersgranddaughter on 4/1/2018, 3:19 pm

Keep 'em coming, sanderson!  I started this year with three SFG raised beds and am already thinking of how to expand.  It's amazing how much gardening space you've created!  Smile
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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  trolleydriver on 4/1/2018, 3:24 pm

Looks great sanderson. You are so well organized. I'm jealous of your weather at this time of the year as we continue to shiver in the cold.

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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  sanderson on 4/1/2018, 3:25 pm

And I am jealous of your summers! Wink

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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  sanderson on 4/9/2018, 4:02 am

I wanted to move a 2' x 2' table top bed, but found out termites have had a good time in one of the treated legs!  So hubby made a new box from 2" x 8".  I refilled the Mel's Mix, added some new compost and planted a couple of starts.

I wanted to move this bed:

The is the new spot with full sun.  Installing commercial weed fabric.:  

New bed is only 2' x 1 1/2' because that was the size of the plywood scrap.  Installed "cup holders" at this point in case I want to install trellises or a gable frame for protection.  I had to cut down the drip system to fit this bed.

Planted a zucchini and a yellow squash together.  I read where someone plants 3 together, so I thought, what the heck.  Wink   This time, the legs are sitting on bricks.

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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/9/2018, 8:32 am

So what are you going to do with the old bed?
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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  kamigh on 4/9/2018, 1:07 pm

I just sent a picture of your setup to my husband as an example of what I need.  I've got critters nibbling my cole crops down to nubs, and have been too discouraged by that to even set out any greens.  I tried using some 'high hoops' with fabric over them but the gusty spring winds we get just knock them over.  Your system looks very sturdy!!!!
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Re: Sanderson's Urban SFG in Fresno, California

Post  sanderson on 4/9/2018, 3:41 pm

Kamugh, I have to admit that the beds and PVC frames are sturdy. The gable shape really holds up to winds, with a little help of cotton string along the top plates and ridge poles.

AM, The old bed was dismantled and tossed into green waste and garbage cans. As beds need replacing over the years, I will be using one 2" x 8" instead of two 2" x 4".

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