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I'm making progress and gardens

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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  acara on 2/25/2011, 6:44 am

Looks good.

Box supports on 4' centers is as far as you can/should go ..... 4x4's may hold the weight for a time, even wet ... just keep an eye on it for sag & I would replace the 4x4's if they start to give (when you replant the box). I'd probably err to the side of caution and put another set of blocks at mid-span, down the 10' lengths. I dont even load steel bar gratings with pedestrian loadings(200#) on 10' centers and each of those 4x4 SFG boxes are going to be 100#+ when full/wet. Just a suggestion though.

If you've already filled the boxes & can't move them, I'd install some sort of pedestal/brace at mid-span, down the long sides.


That second CBS-block run horizontal should give you the extra footprint you need to prevent settling (unless yr soil is lke the sand down here ....then you may still get some sinking/settling in heavy rains).

I cant see the bottoms well, bit it looks like a 1x6 or 1x8 center spar/mid-span support on the bottoms & 4m/.025 or 2m/.063 galv hardware cloth with weed fabric overlay?(curious to know if you went with the 4m (1/4" mesh) or the 2-mesh (1/2") on the welded galvanized hardware cloth?

As far as the tule goes, it may work for you where you are. The sun here in the South deteriorates it & it's not a season-long option here. May last an entire season (or longer) in your neck-of-the-woods though.

Boxes look very good...... nice, neat & elevated Very Happy
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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  walshevak on 2/25/2011, 7:28 am

I used 1/2" hardware cloth and the span is only 9' from block edge to block edge. Will that help? and 1"x5" middle supports under the mesh.
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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 2/25/2011, 9:28 am

I would second...or third....the need for a middle support of some kind. That soil can get heavy, and you can't have too much support imo. I would also be mildly concerned if a decent windy day popped up on you and treated your covered hoops like sails. It doesn't look like things would have to move/slide much to topple over, and that middle brace would increase your margin for error.

I am not saying it's unsafe. I am saying that I would fortify it even more if it were my setup. But, I am only looking at pictures. I haven't physically been around it to "feel" it, either.
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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  walshevak on 2/25/2011, 9:34 am

Ok, I'll dig out all the MM out so I can move the beds and put in more supports. You've convinced me and before I plant is the time.
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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  FarmerValerie on 2/25/2011, 9:37 am

I wonder if putting a block at each corner of the box would be best??? I like the look of your boxes this way, please keep us posted, this may be the way for me personally to go too.
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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  FarmerValerie on 2/25/2011, 9:38 am

Maybe you could get a wood pattern to cut out a horse and buggy to place in front? That would be cute.
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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  walshevak on 2/25/2011, 9:45 am

And wheel cutouts on the sides of the beds Smile
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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  acara on 2/25/2011, 2:53 pm

@walshevak wrote:I used 1/2" hardware cloth and the span is only 9' from block edge to block edge. Will that help? and 1"x5" middle supports under the mesh.

I'm at work now & have my reference tables and software.

The charts don't recommend anything over 8' clear span, for uniform or concentrated load ..... and thats for steel (wood would be much less). In you situation, this would be concentrated loading, not uniform, since the weight is applied on the contact edge of the boards and transfered to only a part of the loading surface (the contact point on the 4 x 4's).

Best guess would be just over 200# at 9', but the deflection would be excessive.

I think we've discussed density of MM in another thread & came up with roughly 13#/ft3 ??

So filling to 6" depth on a 4 x 4 is [((4 x 4) x .5) x13] = 104# of MM (dry weight), plus box, plus plants ..... plus 8#/gallon for water weight........

The Home Depot boxes you show there are 12" high if I remember right, so filling to a 9" height with MM would give you 156# (dry), plus box, plus plants.

I really can't see a way to support two 4 x 4 boxes in that arrangement on a 9' clear span made of wood. Even if its successful initially, it will give at some point as the wood deteriorates with enviromental exposure & age.

However, loading vs clear span is not a linear scale ..... a mid-support on your design would increase the loading by roughly 4x....... so you could probably grow pumpkins in your SFG's, if you put a center support on that.

... Or just scale down and use a single box
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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  walshevak on 3/4/2011, 6:00 pm

Ok Acara, I took out all the MM and reinforced both the bottoms of the boxes and the support system. Whew!! Wet MM is heavy. We had 40MPH winds and heavy rain over the weekend and those boxes didn't budge a smidge even with the tulle in place. I'm giving the tulle a chance to keep moths out as long as possible.



So since I feel like they are sturdy now, today I planted spinach, kale and bok choy plants and spinach seed for a later crop. Another bed has mustard, onion sets, snap peas and lettuce that I planted earlier in the week.



This looks so spring like, I just had to share. Japanese Quince and daffadils.

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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  Megan on 3/4/2011, 9:08 pm

Whew! I feel MUCH better now. Thank you, Acara, for a) knowing how to crunch the umbers, and b) doing so. (And boy, I love those daffodil pictures, walshevak!)
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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  walshevak on 4/3/2011, 11:21 am

Time for an update on my gardens and show the plants and seeds that are up.

And a question. Because my beds are so high, in order for me to have a decent height trellis I will need to use the entire 10" conduit. I'm want to use 24" rebar (1/2 into the ground) and also attach to the sides of the boxes with a clamp. I have a step stool that is sturdy. Any comments or advice before I start installing.

bed 1. radish, spinach bok choy collards and carrots on the grid


bed 2. lettuces, bok choy spinach collards, kale (which is planted too many to the square will thin out as i eat. Very Happy )



bed 3. sugar snaps not up yet, turnips just planted, collards



bed 4. lettuces, chard, bok choy


bed 5. onions, mustard greens



bed 6. broccoli, onions turnips, lettuce mix and snap peas


chairtop garden. mesculun and snap peas


rain bins (full), compost cans, and potting cart

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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  FarmerValerie on 4/3/2011, 11:38 am

Nice, I love the corners on your boxes! And that chair bed!
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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/3/2011, 3:29 pm

Walshevak, your garden is looking so nice and productive. I love the design with the cross bars and cinder block legs. It is so nice to see plants growing there Smile ,
I'm with FarmerValerie, that chair bed is really cute and what a great idea! cheers

Enjoy.

As far as your trellises, I realize with the Table Tops, you want extra height for the trellis itself, but 10 feet sounds awfully high, even with a step stool. Part of that is me, because I am just not stable enough to climb on a step stool safely.
For my own table tops, which are 32 inches high at the top of the box, I am using eight foot conduit, which will give me five and a half feet above the bed. I will need a stool to reach that, but my stool is only 13 1/2 inches high and has a thirteen inch by thirteen inch platform on the top, so pretty secure.

Whatever works for you, just be careful.

I am using rebar into the ground, then adding clamps on both the legs and along the side of the bed to make sure that trellis isn't going anywhere.
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Liking it a lot

Post  Barkie on 4/8/2011, 12:19 pm

Thanks for the pics, I like a good skeg at what folks are doing. That's a grand set up.

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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  clfraser on 4/8/2011, 11:26 pm

Just curious about the trellis. Could you trellis downward from a table top bed?
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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/9/2011, 1:46 am

@clfraser wrote:Just curious about the trellis. Could you trellis downward from a table top bed?
When you say trellis downward, do you mean from the top of the TT towards the ground? I guess you could, but are you trying to get your veggies to sprawl on the ground?

We do have a member who mentioned having some of his veggies cascade from the TT to the ground, but I have forgotten why he did it. Perhaps he will chime in.
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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  boffer on 4/9/2011, 1:52 am

I let cukes and squashes hang over the sides of my TT boxes and trail, unsupported to the ground. Then I train them to grow in a circle underneath the boxes so I don't step on them. Is that what you meant?
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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/9/2011, 3:54 am

Thanks for the explaination Boffer, I sometimes remember just enough to be dangerous.
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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  walshevak on 4/9/2011, 6:41 am

I have a foot high platform used by resturants that is wide and very stable and study. I drug that over to the bed and determined that I can go 8ft high with my trellis. Since my beds are 2 1/2ft high that gives me a 5 1/2 ft trellis above the bed height. So stuff is just gonna have to go up, over, and down. That's as high as I'm willing to go.

Kay

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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  clfraser on 4/9/2011, 7:49 am

That is kinda what I was asking regarding trellising down. I am totally new at this so I was just curious how that would work. I guess going down you don't need the support like you would going up. My bed is on the ground but for future reference I know. I don't really know how I am going to support my cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, and peppers this year. I kind of just planted things and did not think of trellising or anything.
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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  walshevak on 4/9/2011, 9:29 am

Well, I guess we will all learn this summer. I plan to trellis pole beans, cukes, tomatos, cantaloupe and sugar baby watermelons as well as try to corral some squash onto some trellis. I have a much smaller temporary trellis for my snap peas in one of the beds and the chair top peas have an old footboard behind them to grow on. I will replace that temp trellis when I replace the peas with beans.

Kay

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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  walshevak on 5/22/2011, 8:54 am

Thought I'd post pics of my garden before I pull out all the plants. Will eat and freeze from garden until the day before I leave. Then I will harvest what is left and take to my daughter. Her garden is about a month and 1/2 behind mine. She is in zone 6a.

Here are the pics from april http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t6610-i-was-only-gone-for-2-weeks-honest#58630

And today.
Bed 1 - collards, kale, spinach and last buttercrunch lettuce at very back of the box. Tomatos were planted in the same squares as the lettuce until I dug them up and transported to my son's house. There were some peppers in this box too.


Bed 2 and the collard that is taking over. I'll harvest and freeze him this week.


Bed 2 carrots and spinach that is about to finish up. Also dug the tomatos and peppers out of this box.


Bed 3 and the last sowing of sugar snap peas. They are just starting to bloom.


Bed 3 collards, 2nd sowing of turnip greens and onions on the grid crosses


Bed 4 Bok choy about to bolt. These were from the 2nd sowing. Also Swiss chard 1st and second sowings.


Bed 4 Red sails lettuce. I'll be enjoying this until I leave.


Bed 6. The peas are about finished. I don't think the sprinkler got enough water to them while I was gone. They were dry, but the lettuce just inside the net is from my original planting and has had 4 harvests.


Bed 6 Finally getting a small broccoli. I'll let him grow for the next 2 weeks. This may be my last meal before leaving town. Wink


bed 5. Kale, lemon basil and cukes I forgot to dig up and take to my son.


bed 5 onions and kale. Just visable is cilantro in a herb pot. I'll take all my herb pots to my daughter in Northern Va as I'm leaving from Dulles Airport. Empty spots were where I dug up tomatos and peppers and from some mustard/spinach that was finished.


The chairtop garden started when I was so frustrated in Feb because I couldn't get my beds made. Took a long time to get started, but I've had more peas from this planting than from any of my others. Mesculun is looking good and check out the russian red kale in the mix. This was going to be my summer lettuce box as I could move it under the tree for shade.


Over all view of the garden from my deck.


I have had a phenomenal spring garden and had been looking forward to summer crops. I just can't believe what the MM produced. I have eaten, frozen and given away so much. I'm anticipating getting back and starting a fall garden. I am going to take a bin of MM to my daughter and see if she can get me 2 tomatos started in mid aug for a possible late crop. I have a 5x5 plastic hobby greenhouse I can use to extend my season a little.

Kay



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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  Barkie on 5/22/2011, 12:01 pm

That's a good amount you grew. I still can't get over how much can be crammed in and it still grow, although I've done the same as you with chair top but using bakers trays for salad things. That's an attractive kale btw.

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Re: I'm making progress and gardens

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/22/2011, 12:04 pm

Kay, everything is looking so good. At least you will eat well before you leave for Europe and your kids will benefit from your garden too.

Make sure to wave to my older son when your are at Dulles Airport, he lives about 4 miles from the terminal.
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2012 version

Post  walshevak on 2/7/2012, 7:09 pm

Warm weather got to me. I planted the chairtop gardens in Jan and in spite of 30* weather the last 2 nights I found a few pea noses just starting to peek out today. The reclaimed abandoned garden http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t9233-is-there-anything-as-sad-as-an-abandoned-sfg has been keeping me in greens this mild winter. I uncovered the garlic bed today and have a lot of garlic tops showing, some 4" high.

Yesterday and today I put together 4 more beds and managed to get 2 up on their rails before I ran out of energy. I have some onion seed started but decided not to start seeds for peppers and tomatos until I return from visiting my son. Will be gone for 2 1/2 weeks and didn't want to haul seedlings with me. However, I will be starting seed at his house for the "pond beds".

The good news is that my vermiculite source in in the town where he lives and by the time I return and make MM for the new bed, I will be able to direct sow most of the spring greens. The carrots, spinach and lettuce from the fall planting are stil going strong. The chard is also going strong, but the flavor is not as good as it was. Time to pull it up and start new. I'm also going to pull up the kale (held on since last spring) and start new. Lost some of the fall planted collards so will also start new there. Will eat on the 2 remaining until the new crop gets going and then plant something new in their squares.

Kay

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