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Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 7/19/2010, 1:29 am

@Chopper wrote:Looks great! I have planted 4 eggplant - at different times and they are my worst plant across the board. I hope to see one fruit at least before the end of the season. Has the 20" box setup worked well for moisture?

I planted two fairytale eggplants, and they took a while to do anything. The first set of blossoms all fell off, so i figured it was just too hot, but once they grew enough leaves, they exploded with a 2nd set of blossoms all over the place, and almost all of them have set fruit now.

I'm using mel's mix for the soil, and last week i gave all the beds a good soaking of compost tea. The moisture stays pretty consistent all throughout the day. I use netafim sub-surface irrigation with 12" spacing which is perfect for SFG. Since it's ben so hot, i run it 3 times a day at 30 minutes each time (6am, 12pm, 6pm). That seems to be perfect for now.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 8/9/2010, 5:26 pm

Here's a few updated pics. Everything is doing pretty awesome considering the 110 degree heat in july. It's been getting a bit cooler now, but still around 100 degrees during the day. It's just so neat to see watermelons hanging from a trellis like this. I never thought it was possible until just recently. They're the icebox variety so they won't get too huge.. about 6-10 pounds from what i've read.




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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  The Estate on 10/11/2010, 11:41 pm

how is the drainage, you look like you are high up in the sky there Shocked

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 10/12/2010, 2:57 am

@The Estate wrote:how is the drainage, you look like you are high up in the sky there Shocked

Drainage seems to be perfect. Since it's cooled off significantly, i've been able to reduce the watering cycles and the plants are still doing great. I've ripped out a lot of summer vegetables to make room for the fall/winter stuff.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  acara on 10/12/2010, 10:56 am

Yahtzee .....

I'm sooooo going to plagerize/copy/beg/borrow/steal the LED grow light/capilary mat idea (with permission I hope?? LOL)

I've been wondering how I was going to get approval from SWMBO on having 84 seedlings on the windowsill, dining table, etc during Jan/Feb.

Rack/Shelf in the garage with a system like this is definately going to be received a lot better Smile Smile TY TY TY

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 10/12/2010, 2:20 pm

@acara wrote:Yahtzee .....

I'm sooooo going to plagerize/copy/beg/borrow/steal the LED grow light/capilary mat idea (with permission I hope?? LOL)

I've been wondering how I was going to get approval from SWMBO on having 84 seedlings on the windowsill, dining table, etc during Jan/Feb.

Rack/Shelf in the garage with a system like this is definately going to be received a lot better Smile Smile TY TY TY

Hah, i'm sure you'll love it. It works perfectly.

For the capillary mat, i used the "root barrier watering mat" from leevalley.com. It helps keep the roots from growing right into the mat which is what usually happens with the normal capillary mats.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  Garden Angel on 10/12/2010, 4:44 pm

Amazing , thanks for sharing with us. I admire your desire to garden and research the challenges of your enviroment.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  quiltbea on 10/14/2010, 2:33 pm

That's a truly remarkable setup you've got. The veggies are outstanding for such heat. When we get temps in the 90s here in Maine (rarely, believe me) our veggies droop amazingly so you're doing well in Las Vegas.
Love you garden.
Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  Odd Duck on 10/21/2010, 10:23 pm

Where did you get the LED lights you're using?

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  middlemamma on 10/21/2010, 11:43 pm

ok...so I am going to risk what may be the most ridiculous question I have asked to date. Embarassed
After reading a little about LED grow lights it seems you need white, blue and red light....

Ready?

Here it comes...

Could you use red, green, and white LED christmas lights??? (Ducks)

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/22/2010, 12:05 am

Yes you can use the red, blue, and white LED christmas lights in place of the
LED grow lights but you have to use a Lot of LED christmas lights to get the
same brightness you get from the LED grow light.
But I do not know the equation.= how many christmas lights = grow light

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 10/22/2010, 2:11 am

@quiltbea wrote:That's a truly remarkable setup you've got. The veggies are outstanding for such heat. When we get temps in the 90s here in Maine (rarely, believe me) our veggies droop amazingly so you're doing well in Las Vegas.
Love you garden.
Thanks for sharing.

Thanks. It took a ton of research but its paying off! I've probably harvested several hundred pounds of food already. The cucumbers accounted for a significant portion of that.

@Odd Duck wrote:Where did you get the LED lights you're using?

I got the lights from here: http://goo.gl/qOKn They were about $115 each when I bought them.

@middlemamma wrote:Could you use red, green, and white LED christmas lights???

You could try christmas lights, but it wouldn't really be the best idea. You'd need to use hundreds of them to get the same performance since they're such low wattage.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  acara on 10/22/2010, 7:20 am

Be careful.....I suspect could string regular LED's until the cows came home & wouldn't get the same benefit.

The wattage can be duplicated in quantity, but the wavelength is what you need for proper development.

If your not hitting the chlorophyl peaks with the right wavelength of light (red and blue, 2 each) than the plant may live/develop but not flower.

Pretty sure you need 470 nm, 660 nm, 680nm & 740nm to properly grow chlorophyl plants. next time your in the store, look for a regular "grow light" and then look at a regular bulb ....... you should see a big difference in the listed wavelengths on the bulb packaging (and the cost).

I've tried this in the "fish world" before ......."I'm not paying THAT for that silly aquarium bulb when I have a dozen of bulbs in the garage" ....... 2 weeks later, I'm back buying the bulb that i should of in the first place Very Happy


Again, wattage is easy to match/duplicate ..... wavelength.... not-so-much

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  middlemamma on 10/22/2010, 12:47 pm

Thanks for the responses...one more question:

Could you make the christmas light idea work just for seedlings? These would be in the house just a little while and then out in the garden? Since you wouldn't be shooting for flowers or fruit from them...? thinking

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  middlemamma on 10/22/2010, 12:48 pm

ASFx...the lights you bought do you have one on each shelf of your set up?

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  Odd Duck on 10/22/2010, 1:29 pm

@ASFx wrote:

I got the lights from here: http://goo.gl/qOKn They were about $115 each when I bought them.


Thanks! I looked at those, but wasn't sure they would be enough wattage. You seem to be having great results, though, so that's very reassuring.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 10/22/2010, 3:47 pm

@middlemamma wrote:Could you make the christmas light idea work just for seedlings? These would be in the house just a little while and then out in the garden? Since you wouldn't be shooting for flowers or fruit from them...? thinking

They could work for the first couple weeks, but after they get a few sets of true leaves you'll probably want to get them outside before they get too leggy.

@middlemamma wrote:ASFx...the lights you bought do you have one on each shelf of your set up?

I have two panels on each shelf, for a total of 8 panels. The shelves are 3ft long, and the lights are only good for about 1.5 sqft. The LED lights are much more focused than a flourescent, so they pretty much just shoot straight down.

@Odd Duck wrote:Thanks! I looked at those, but wasn't sure they would be enough wattage. You seem to be having great results, though, so that's very reassuring.

They're definitely great for growing the seedlings for the first 6-10 weeks. I'v already gone through several full summer and fall batches with nice results. I did accidentally leave a few thai peppers under the lights for too long since I ran out of room outside. They actually started fruiting, but the peppers were very tiny when they turned red, so that pretty much tells me that we can't grow fruiting plants under these lower powered LED lights. I also grew full sized lettuce under these LED lights which was pretty fun.

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Regarding your seed starting setup...

Post  MrTomatoHead on 12/12/2010, 9:39 am

Hi... very intrigued by your setup. A strong note of caution... I'm not sure because it was a quick 1/2 second picture of the water reservoirs on your seed starting rack...

If those are aluminum.... don't... change them out. You will eventually leach aluminum into the water, thus into the roots, and your plants. Not to be paranoid, but it has been indicted in causing damage leading to Alzheimers. Since you're gardening for healthy food, and you are clearly spending a few bucks, I'd spend a few more and find some plastic or glass or stainless based trays...

Just sayin...


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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  camprn on 12/12/2010, 9:58 am

MrTomatoHead, glad you\'re here to the SFG Forum!

@MrTomatoHead wrote: Not to be paranoid, but it has been indicted in causing damage leading to Alzheimers.


Here is an informational link discussing various studies of
Alzheimers Disease and aluminium

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  happyfrog on 12/12/2010, 10:35 am

wow! gorgeous! *jaw dropping in awe*

thanks for sharing.

have no idea if what you're using is alum, but i do know alum is not a good thing long term - my dad died of Alzheimer's and his docs recommended to us remaining living family members (most of my siblings and other close family members are dead from cancer) that we avoid alum in any form - deodorant, canned goods using alum as the container, etc - because it can build up in the body and brain.

so i have a paranoia when it comes to alum. and soy and several other things, lol.

but at the end of the day - YOU decide what's best for your family. because it might be ok - might not be ok - all depends on your personal family situation.

we don't do a lot of 'common usage stuff' in our household because of my health background.

but every day/week/month/year we make different decisions based on what's right for us then - and that can change.

i must admit i just love teh depth of your boxes most of all. absolutely absolutely gorgeous box set up/layout. and you were particularly well thought out on the paths/mulch between the boxes. i know we'll be redoing a bunch of boxes in early spring because we didn't think about weeds/etc growing up between boxes that can get unruly - so we're putting the highest quality (we used the cheapest first time around) landscape fabric down everywhere and then re-laying the boxes (simply moving the soil to bags during this transition - and then dumping it back in the boxes afterwards).

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  Megan on 12/12/2010, 2:36 pm

Those lights have me drooling with envy!!! I love you But, please, folks, let's stay on topic and leave the health aspects of aluminum and soy out as much as we can.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 12/12/2010, 3:24 pm

Thanks for all your comments Smile Don't worry about the aluminum. They started leaking after a while anyway, and I replaced them all with similar shaped non BPA plastic containers.

My garden has been doing great so far. I finally got my first frost on Thanksgiving day, which meant it was finally time to pull the rest of the tomatoes and peppers out. My onions seem to be doing great and are standing tall during the day. I think i planted the peas too late because they're pretty messed up from the frost. I'll try planting them again next month after we get over the "cold hump" and it starts getting warmer again.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  MrTomatoHead on 12/13/2010, 2:04 am

@camprn wrote:
Here is an informational link discussing various studies of
Alzheimers Disease and aluminium

Thanks for the informational reading. I'm torn, because, while I have an engineering degree, and thus pretty scientific mindset, I'm also aware of the immense power in the corporate world to shape the studies, information and thus the debate.


Last edited by LaFee on 12/13/2010, 3:32 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : removed off-topic discussion)

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  ASFx on 12/13/2010, 2:11 am

Back on topic...

In the next couple days i'll be starting a bunch of seeds to go out around mid january. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, and various lettuce. I'll let them grow under the LED lights for about a month or so.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

Post  MrTomatoHead on 12/13/2010, 2:20 am

@ASFx wrote:Thanks for all your comments Smile Don't worry about the aluminum. They started leaking after a while anyway, and I replaced them all with similar shaped non BPA plastic containers.

My garden has been doing great so far. I finally got my first frost on Thanksgiving day, which meant it was finally time to pull the rest of the tomatoes and peppers out. My onions seem to be doing great and are standing tall during the day. I think i planted the peas too late because they're pretty messed up from the frost. I'll try planting them again next month after we get over the "cold hump" and it starts getting warmer again.

Great... sorry to distract the thread, but I was concerned for you. I've had a garden for two years straight in the more traditional sense... tons of tomatoes and squash, and a few side vegatables. I have grapes and raspberries lining my fence line. This year I put in 9 blueberry bushes and finished off the development of an asparagus hedgerow.

This SFG concept intrigues me. I came across (as referenced in earlier message) Dr. Fuhrmans work while referencing diabetes issues for a family member and have been absolotely transformed by his work as a nutritionally oriented doctor.

His success in being a truly "healing" vs. "symptom masking" (read pill popping) doctor grabbed my attention. I've followed his nutritional advice now for 7 weeks and have lost 25 lbs, dropped my blood pressure 10 points and am feeling fabulous as, at age 53 I am walking around with the weight I had in my 20's!

So, with your interest in nutrition for health, by all means check out his two latest books...

And... what a concept... his basic formula is Health and longevity= Nutritional content of the foods yo eat/calories taken in.

Which means, don't eat the crap... saturated fats, salt, sugar etc... (70 to 80%) of the calories consumed are corn (GMO, BTW) "pharmaceutically created" foods.... and eat primarily vegetables (especially leafy greens), fruits, beans, nuts/seeds, and occasionally meat (less than 10% of your total calories)

He cites tons of studies (even with my skepticism... you can see trends) and shows a pretty much lock step correlation between cancer, heart disease, stroke and the dietary shifts in the West in the last 1/2 century or so.

Some very good reading... and has changed my life dramatically... thus I'm gonna start growing my own with SFG.

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Re: Just finished building my four 4'x8'x20" raised beds

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