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Today Is The Day

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Today Is The Day

Post  acara on 9/4/2010, 7:01 am

Here we go .... armed with inexperience, fueled by ignorance ....

I've got my list of materials & a belly full of black coffee!!

I'm off to get my stuff to build my first SFG box.

Ready....fire ...aim affraid
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  Megan on 9/4/2010, 7:39 am

Hurrah, acara!

smiles
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  elliephant on 9/4/2010, 8:58 am

rock on Woohoo! I am slowly but surely getting together everything I need for my fall garden. I wish I could take a list and just go get everything I need, but with a 4 year old, a 3 year old, and an almost 1 year old in tow...well, best to get it bit by bit! :elephant:

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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  martha on 9/4/2010, 1:13 pm

alrighta

You are going to have so much fun!! Show us photos when you can.
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  camprn on 9/4/2010, 3:38 pm

sfg smile
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Today's the day...

Post  trustinhart on 9/4/2010, 6:08 pm

smiles smiles smiles smiles

Have FUN!!!!!


Last edited by trustinhart on 9/4/2010, 6:09 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : silly me...)
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  Garden Angel on 9/5/2010, 10:19 am

@acara wrote:Here we go .... armed with inexperience, fueled by ignorance ....

I've got my list of materials & a belly full of black coffee!!

I'm off to get my stuff to build my first SFG box.

Ready....fire ...aim affraid

I'm with you , could'nt of had a better plan myself! Very Happy
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  acara on 9/5/2010, 12:30 pm

Well the rain has run me off for a few hours, so I guess now is a good time for an update;



Ground-prep was pretty easy. I took up a 52" x 52" square of sod and used 18" x 18" Eviro-mats (formed pourous recycled rubber tiles). Allthough the mats have drain grooves, I left the center 18" x 18" bare/empty, as a central low point drain.

Box is standard 4 x 4, with 1 x 8 x 48" Cedar end-chamfered boards. Bottom is commercial-grade landscape fabric, stapled to the bottom. I painted the exterior, but left the internal surfaces unfinished (sealed/primed with Kilz, then 1 coat of Behr exterior semi-gloss white)

Hinges are internal. 6" standard heavy stainless door hinges, but hinge-pins are 12" long, which alllowed me to drive them through the mats and into the ground for structural support/stability.

Internally, I mounted a peripheral 1/2" irrigation header which feeds the 16 individual drippers (2 GPH), and ran the low-voltage wiring on the frame of the box. System is hooked into a solenoid control for water, lights, sensors (light/rain).

Top lattice is composite 1/8 x 1/2" framing strips, which are rot-proof & flex as--needed, if I need to manuever around them.

The perimeter fence is composite, corner mounted & comes in 2' sections and has snap-connectors so I can unsnap and swing out of the way while working on the plants.

I wasn't up for the challenge of raising from seeds on my first go round, so I went with transplants;

In order of apppearance;

Top Row; Pole beans / Cantalope / Cantalope / Pole Beans

2nd Row; Peas / Tomato / Tomato / Peas

3rd Row; Pepper / Tomato / Tomato / Pepper

Front Row; Cucumber / Squash / Pepper / Cucumber


I made my own Mel's Mix, but had to improvise on some of the compost, since I couldn't find 5 different varieties locallly. Mix is 1/3 Vermiculite, 1/3 Peat & the balance of compost-blend is Black Cow, Mushroom Compost, coir/peanut compost & earthworm compost.


I've staked the transplants temporarily, so that they stay out of the way & nothing "accidentally happens to them while I''m installing the outrigger trellis system.

I also mulched the entire box with shredded coir, since its a good indicator of how the watering is working (turns dark when damp, or light brown if dry).


Here are some pics:

Spray paint line ...




The 1/2" and 1" piping straps I'm using for the trellis later ..




The "traditional" SFG Box (can see the irrigation, lighting controls on the back wall) ...



View of opposite corner (you can see the matting that the box is resting on) ...




Top Down View (can see the lattice, drip irrigation and matting).....



Now for the mods ....

I started by adding 1/2 x 3 x 48" plasticwood runners on the sides for support of the outrigger trellis system. The runners allow the poles to stand-off from the box enough to accomodate the lattic fencing (and the perimeter fencing, should I need it for critters latter).

Corner runner detal ...



Full view of runner ...




The outrigger poles are 1" PVC supports and will connect to 1/2" diameter 8" x 60" PVC frames via a 1-to-1/2" reducing elbow. The internal lattics is the web netting that was suggested in the SFG book & its attached/tensioned via eye screws mounted internally in the framing. The 1" x 1/2" side connections are reinforced with rebar for stability and to prevent sag...3/8" rebar, internal).
The outrigger support connection point allows me to run the trellis(s) starting at 12" above the box surface, for a total trellis support area 8" wide (concentric to each square) and a finished trellis height of 6'0".

More to follow, if it stops raining today ...LOL
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  chexmix on 9/5/2010, 1:02 pm

Looks great. rock on Looking foward to more updates. Keep up the great work
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  Furbalsmom on 9/5/2010, 2:37 pm

You don't mess around when it comes to diving into a new project!
Love it, love it, love it. I now want everything you have.
Looks Great. Where are you in FL? Gulf Side, Atlantic side, Interior?
My brother is on the Gulf side and using traditional rows. I want him to see what can be done with a little imagination (and a lot of hard work to begin) He is getting older lol! and needs to spend his time setting up his garden, not continuous weeding and roto-tilling three times a year. Then he can enjoy his garden, and not dread the everyday stuff.
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WOW

Post  Megan on 9/5/2010, 3:50 pm

Wow, looking fantastic. Great job, acara! That is quite a nifty box system you have there, and your transplants look great, too.

Happy gardening! flower
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  acara on 9/5/2010, 5:17 pm

@Furbalsmom wrote: Where are you in FL? Gulf Side, Atlantic side, Interior?

West side (gulf) ... just above (Northeast) Tampa ... so not sure if that makes me coastal or central
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  acara on 9/6/2010, 9:33 pm

Well, day two was not as productive as planned ...

Besides dodging thunderstorms all day; I load tested the netting in the frames & wasn't happy with the results for my heavier plants (tomatoes, cukes, cantalopes), so I revised the design a bit.

I finally decided on 14 gauge epoxy coated wire attached with eyehooks & that seems to do the trick. I got a little overzealous on the wire tensioning and overtightened/bowed the middle of the frames a little ...but once its grown over you wont be able to tell. However, the individual wires now pass the 50# hang/hour test ....so I'll take function over form anyday tongue

The rain & re-engineering set me back a bit, but I managed to get the individual front outriggers done. The other parts are 1-piece construction & shouldn't take as long .... so hopefully I can make some headway tomorrow night after work.

So here are the pics for the day....

Mounting the poles to the base:




The 8" x 60" outrigger frame, unassembled:




Assembled;




One outrigger installed:




The single outriggers allow me to support a single square of the SFG, without blocking the whole row. They also allow me some angle adjustment, for other types of plants. The design also allows me working space around the base of the plant and prevents damaging the transplants roots. Best thing about them, is that I can remove an individual trellis, without disturbing everything in the grid row.

I also tried to think ahead & plan for large growth ... so I pre-installed some attchment points for tensioning/counterbalance cables:




Here are both outriggers installed on front row (ends are cukes & need the support, middle two plants are peppers & don't need the trellis):




Here you can see the elevation of the trellis frame. At about 14-16" plant height, I'll transfer from the stakes to the trellis:




Hopefully the next frames will go faster (tomatoes in the center of row 2 & 3 are next frames to be built).....and hopefully the rain will stop.





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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  Megan on 9/6/2010, 9:53 pm

Looks great! You have clearly put a lot of thought and hard work into planning all of this. (And rain is GOOD!) Smile
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  Garden Angel on 9/7/2010, 11:33 pm

Functional and so pretty too! very nice.
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from Odessa, FL

Post  sjfrunner on 9/8/2010, 9:36 pm

I'd say Wesley Chapel is a good half hour to 45 mins east of me and I'm 30 mins inland in Odessa, so wesley chapel is probably more like central. I cleared out the spring crops that had lived out their full lives. Now getting ready to put some more compost in to liven up the soil and then plant lettuces and spinach in the old SFG. I am going to plant another SFG in about late Dec-Jan with potatoes and some other root veggies. I went to a workshop at the local library this evening on composting. It was very interesting. Any other SFGers from the Tampa bay area?

Susie
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Finally finished

Post  acara on 9/11/2010, 5:23 pm

Just beat the rain too !!

The completed SFG-rookie-Frankenstein build (front view)!!!;




Side-corner view 1;




Side-corner view 2;




Top down;




Side view;




Random pics of the construction ...SFG & non-sfg;

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v102/acara/Hosted%20stuff/SFG%20Gardening/

Hopefully everything keeps growing quick and fills the trellis system in ....neighbors think I've absolutely lost my mind Embarassed
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  Megan on 9/11/2010, 6:08 pm

Wow.... quite a construction!!! Very Happy Got rebar inside that PVC?
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  acara on 9/11/2010, 8:03 pm

@Megan wrote:Wow.... quite a construction!!! Very Happy Got rebar inside that PVC?

No rebar, but the horizontal 1/2" tubing is filled with composite resin (same strength, 1/3rd of the weight) ... the weight is transfered to the 1" pipe and the connection points where the weight/load transfers are threaded/tapped. The fittings are also all drilled and mounted in place with stainless fasteners (from the back side).

Individual tensioning eyes are rated for 80# each & the coated wire would take a couple hundred lbs to snap.

It's not the the ninth wonder of the engineering world, but it should hold anything a bean, cuke or 'mater plant can throw at it.

However, the catalopes in the back row caused me to err to the side of caution .... which is why I went with classic wooden slat trellis, with a 3-piece sandwich frame, with 2 x 4 mounting boards (4) on the back wall. I can actually climb that one, so I should be safe if the cantalopes put out more than a couple fruit each.

Of course ... I'm sure the captain of the Titanic said something similar tongue



Last edited by acara on 9/11/2010, 8:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  boffer on 9/11/2010, 8:09 pm



Definitely a winner. I just haven't figured out yet which category! Wink
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  Megan on 9/11/2010, 8:09 pm

Awesomeness! Very Happy
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  acara on 9/11/2010, 8:12 pm

LOL ...ugliest box ever ... but I'm hoping it will be much more aesthetic once it's overgrown.

But hey, I'm living proof that even really ugly things can be useful on occcasion ..... at least thats what the wife tells me.
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  boffer on 9/11/2010, 8:31 pm

Actually, ugly didn't cross my mind. But, "O....M....G....." did! I am saving one of your pictures for future use-although I can't imagine what that would be. Razz

My wife and I like to build things, and we've been sitting here studying the form and function of your creation. It really is quite......interesting.

The SFG Foundation is always on the lookout for new items they can have manufactured and sell, in support of SFG. So keep taking pictures and documenting how well your system works-perhaps it will be a product they would like to pick up. I agree with you that it will look better covered in green.

Thanks for sharing your pictures, and I hope your first harvest is bountiful.

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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  acara on 9/11/2010, 8:39 pm

Thanks ...

Most important thing ...it was cheap. Most of that stuff has been laying around my garage for ages ...so it was good to make some space in there too.
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Re: Today Is The Day

Post  acara on 9/21/2010, 4:29 pm

Week 2 photo update ..

One of my cucumbers is doing so well, we decided to name it ...

Stanley is an 18-day old transplanted cuke, who we rescued/adopted from the local Home Depot. We suspect Stanley may have suffered some abuse and malnutrition issues as a young seedling (possibly even fed raw meat by his former owners). We also believe Stanley may have had a crack-habit before he came to us ....which may be a contributing factor to his uncanny growth/development since we adopted him.

Stanley should break the 6' mark today, has 51 blossums and was setting cukes in at least 3 places, as of 7am this morning ....

Stanley is a single, a Gemini, and enjoys long leisurely naps in the Western exposure garden.

Stanleys favorite food is fish-emulsion-fertilizer.

Stanley is currently employed as a motivational speaker/coach for Acara's first SFG garden & is conducting motivational workshops for our SFG cucumbers...in hopes they will develop in a similar fashion to Stanley tongue

Everyone say hello to "Stanley", the crack-cucumber ... bounce

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v102/acara/Hosted%20stuff/SFG%20Gardening/SFG%20Week%202/
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