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SFG in Springbrook, Ontario!

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SFG in Springbrook, Ontario!

Post  LupinFarm on 3/13/2010, 9:34 pm

For the past two years I've been half-attempting to grow from a plot garden. As it happens, our property seems to be the centre of all weeds in the world and no matter *what* I do, I can't keep the thistles and various other weeds away. I saw the SFG book on the shelf at Lowes about 2-3 weeks ago and decided, "hey! maybe this is for me!"

I've decided this year we're going to spray the plot garden with round-up, till it up, and cover it with old hay from last year and a tarp and let it sit until next spring. In the meantime I had some wood hanging around from my stalled run-in shelter for the horses and decided to start building some raised beds. So far I have laid out a design for our garden on paper, and we're starting this year with 6- 4ft x 4ft beds (1 is made from 2" by 10" lumber and the rest just regular ole' 2" by 6"), 6 - 2ft by 6ft beds, 2 - 2ft by 10ft beds and a big bed that is being planted out with raspberries that is 5ft by 20ft, which won't comply with the SFG "rules." Wink

I'm also installing polytunnels on all of our raised beds except for the raspberry one in order to extend my growing season and get an early start on growing.

This is our garden so far. Next year it'll be extended into the area that used to be a plot garden to include a bunch more of the 4ft by 4ft beds. We also are planting blueberries in pots to hang out in the garden during the summer months, and doing our potatoes in home depot buckets.



One of the 4ft by 4ft beds, this is one of those 2" by 10" beds. I used newspapers under the bed to keep out weeds, and attached ABS pipe to the corners using metal plumbers tape and my polytunnel rods just slip in and are zip-tied at the top. Behind it you can see the bed for the raspberries, which is currently top dressed with tons of goat manure from cleaning out the goat shed after 6 months.

The same bed as above covered in it's brand new poly tunnel. I have a ton of this 6 mil poly from renovating our last house. Covering this bed allows it to heat up and in about 3-4 weeks I'll be able to start planting my warmer-weather crops in it. I'm starting lettuces, and peas in the next week-2 weeks.





This is one of our 2ft by 10ft beds for peas exclusively. These will have trellis' down the middle of the bed with peas planted on either side of the trellis. I'm probably not going to use Mel's method of making trellis' but instead using 2" by 4" lumber to make a trellis and using plastic chainlink from my horses roundbale covers as my trellis'. I have 2 of these beds, but there will be 3 by the end of the season. They're made from 2" by 6" rough cut pine. I'm going to paint them as well.



In our front garden we also have a huge raised garden we use as a potager garden. It's made out of limestone blocks from an old garage that fell last fall at a house near-by. I just picked up 2 enormous 10 cu. ft. bags of peat moss from Lowes, a huge bag of Vermiculite (I was lucky to find this! but to anyone in my area, Thrashers in Belleville carries it in 110 litre bags! for $22.00!) and a "all-purpose" compost as well as cow manure. I have on hand myself horse manure, chicken manure, goat manure, and duck manure. I'll be starting to put together the pea beds and a couple lettuce beds this coming week and I'll start posting more photos after that!

FYI, we're Canadian Zone 5b (American 4), in Springbrook, Ont. about 117KM east of Toronto.

LupinFarm

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Re: SFG in Springbrook, Ontario!

Post  LupinFarm on 3/15/2010, 8:16 pm

I started filling beds this morning, and we've put the frame for the trellis on one of the pea beds this afternoon. Tomorrow the other frame is going on, picking up some horsey poop from the field to boost the soil level in the other bed, and putting together some 4ft x 4ft beds tomorrow as well.







I was beating the chickens off the beds today LOL They were obsessed with the vermiculite, and thought that it was om nom tastey.

And this is a photo of the raised potager kitchen garden at the front of the house Smile

LupinFarm

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Location : Springbrook, Ont. (Zone 5b)

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Thanks!!

Post  maleon80 on 3/16/2010, 7:46 am

Hi,

I just joined today! I read SFG in 1 night and am so excited to get started!! Thank you so much for your pictures!! I am wanting to do asparagus, would asparagus be better in a long bed like the raspberries? I want to do raspberries and strawberries as well. Should both of those be in long beds?

Thanks,
Annette

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Re: SFG in Springbrook, Ontario!

Post  LupinFarm on 3/17/2010, 8:22 pm

Well I'm not super pleased right now. I just checked the weather network after planting about 20ft of peas in one of the beds, to find that it is going to snow for the next TWO WEEKS!!! Even worse, mixed precipitation. So ice too.

I've put poly over the bed, but I won't be able to get more until Tuesday.

LupinFarm

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Re: SFG in Springbrook, Ontario!

Post  LupinFarm on 4/28/2010, 9:57 pm

Phew, I haven't been here in a while because we've been so busy getting things set up for summer this year. So far my peas are doing well, this is the bed that I planted in March that I was so worried would die because of the snow/ice we had. We didn't end up getting much snow and definitely didn't get any ice but the downside is we haven't had much precipitation since so they're a little stunted IMO, and I may start watering them tomorrow with some ducky poo tea water.



I also started putting in Tomatoes yesterday, its still a bit cold at night for them so they're under the polytunnel at around 8pm so they have an hour or so to heat up for the night. There are only 4 in this bed because my mum squashed the other 6 that were to go in a couple other beds when she dropped a piece of heavy piece of plaster/drywall on them!



I also have 3 squares of carrots doing well, my onions and potatoes are doing great... my lettuces and spinach... not so much, the cats dug the seedlings up so I have to replant.

And lastly a nice view of the garden from the house, I finally mowed this little hill, its been growing wild for 2 years and I finally got it in me to actually mow it LOL.


LupinFarm

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Location : Springbrook, Ont. (Zone 5b)

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Re: SFG in Springbrook, Ontario!

Post  camprn on 4/28/2010, 10:12 pm

Lovely & greening up nicely! We had snow today Rolling Eyes
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Wow, totally awesome, Lupinfarm!

Post  LindainWarwickNY on 4/29/2010, 12:46 am

You started in the snow! In the snow! Wow, you're good! I haven't even put the boxes together yet because I thought it was still too cold and here you were, having the boxes together and planting while it was still cold and everything is looking so beautiful. I am so amazed at your results! Way to go! I totally didn't know you could plant while it was still so cold outside. I have so much to learn!

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Re: SFG in Springbrook, Ontario!

Post  LupinFarm on 4/30/2010, 2:52 pm

LOL Linda, I'm just really impatient Wink I had polytunnels on all the beds, and my peas sprouted in March. We haven't really had any rain so they're kind of stunted right now but so far its all good. The only thing I managed to kill was my tomatoes, I'm not sure if it was the cold we had the other night or not, but I suspect I just baked them in the hoop house when I got up late yesterday morning HA. Who knew it'd be so warm out?!

LupinFarm

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It's 88 degrees here today, but who know for how long?

Post  LindainWarwickNY on 5/1/2010, 4:07 pm

Husband and I bought one raised bed from Sam's Club that is 6 inches high on the sides and eight feet long X four feet wide. I was hoping I could separate it into 2 4x4's but it is put together by joints that let the middle board just slip into it. If you took one 4x4 box off the joint, you'd have to come up with an end board that wouldn't match it. It is made out of plastic and made to look like dark wood, so one couldn't match the color or texture if they wanted to.

Then we went to Lowe's and they have one that looks like much stronger plastic or rubber material and it has one section that is 6 inches high and another box that you can put ontop of one end and make it deaper on that end. The bottom bed is longer, husband thinks it's about 6 feet. We are so lazy, it isn't put together yet and still in the box it came in, but I think the construction is suppose to be pretty easy. Husband is 66 years old and I'm 58, almost 59, so we aren't quite as full of as much energy as you are, hee hee, but we're getting there!

I am still thinking about what I want to do to keep the weed situation down in our bed. It isn't even so much the weeds, as all the baby trees that are trying to grow in it. Husband rototilled it the other day. I am pretty sure I will put black plastic down on the whole garden area to start with. We have some 4x4 or a little larger heavy plastic boxes that a store originally used to display fake Christmas trees on. They were just stored in a heap on one wall and we asked if we could buy some. The store was going out of business and sold us four of them. I could put two of them close to one another and lay the bed's we just bought ontop of that using the rubber stands on the bottom as a floor for my raised beds. Those rubber stands are so thick and heavy, there is no way a tree would be able to grow through it. I think it will work.

I had originally planned to put my two 4x4 beds in my garden area in a diamond fashion, you know, one corner of one 4x4 bed not far from a corner of the other 4x4 bed, so it looked like two diamonds, but if I can't make these beds to be 4x4 beds then I'll have to figure out some other cute design. At least by having the black plastic down under everything, when the locust blossoms blow all over the place I'll be able to take my shop broom out and sweep them up and not allow them to sit and grow. Originally I had only planted flowers in this particular garden area, but I didn't use my head when I planted them and it became impossible to get in there to pull weeds and baby trees. I may be a bit slow in getting started, but I really want to put some thought into this so it will be much easier to take care of this year.

You've really got a great situation where you are at with all of the property spread out to work with and with your own animals, no less! Pretty cool. You've got your own fresh manure to use! We are just renting our place, so even though it was once an old farm house, we don't have barns or anything to try raising any animals except for our cat! I think it's totally awesome that you can, though!
I'm amazed at how much you have done already. Way to go and keep it going and posting your photos. As soon as I get mine to wear I can post something, I will try to.

I have posted on another thread about a catalog that has cute items one can order from for items to dress up your garden. One of our members was building a memorial garden for her infant son and was wondering if any of the members knew of cute things to put into her garden. I looked through the CollectionsEtc catalog and found a bunch of cute things for her and ended up ordering them for myself! I think they will look really cute in our garden when we get it going and not only will I get a kick out of them, but our grandkids will, too!

Speaking of which, my grandson's baseball game is at five, so I better get going. I'm going to show husband your photos to show him how far you are going on your project already! Right now, he is getting ready to watch the Kentucky Derby race on tv. We've already posted our bets, so I will leave him to watch the race and go to our grandson's game! Hee hee. Bye for now.

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Re: SFG in Springbrook, Ontario!

Post  quiltbea on 5/1/2010, 10:19 pm

It doesn't seem believable that you can get that far by May 1st. You are doing a magnificent job of getting an early start.
Keep up the good work.
Just keep some heavy row cover or plenty of old towels and blankets handy and you can defeat Mr. Frost.
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Re: SFG in Springbrook, Ontario!

Post  LupinFarm on 5/1/2010, 10:21 pm

quiltbea, it seems my problems are not potential frost but infact my own chickens. the evil little monsters keep digging up my newly planted pea seeds in the second pea bed. They dug up all the taters so we had to re-plant in buckets.

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Naughty, chickens!

Post  LindainWarwickNY on 5/2/2010, 11:27 pm

You may have to put up a big fence for their new play pen! Hee hee!

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