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Joining from little Rhode Island

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Joining from little Rhode Island

Post  boettg33 on 7/4/2011, 8:46 am

Where to start? Well growing up my parents had a 40'X20' garden that I loved to help with. The weeding part was not much fun, but the fruits of our labor were delicious. Once I hit middle school, the garden had gone bye bye. My father was a nursery man and decided to plant our garden with PGMs. Oh well.


Fast forward thirty years and my family and I own the same house. The area for the garden has been converted into a grass play area for the kids. Three years ago, I decided we should to try our hand at gardening. After some research, I decided to build two above ground boxes. This did not come from the SFG website. I went and built two large boxes. One was 6'X4' and the other was 12'X4'. For the soil, I went to the local gravel bank and purchased a load of compost, and proceeded to fill the boxes with the compost. Prior to this, I had started a jungle of seeds in our living room. Tons of sun there. The plants quickly out grew the small cups we started in. Instead of transplanting them, instead I opted to simply move them outdoors once the last frost had hit. Late May for us. Once the plants were outside in the compost, they grew like crazy. It looked like I was going to have a great crop. Alas, the plants barely yielded anything. From conversations with friends and family that garden, it was determined that the compost gave the plants a ton of nutrients all at once. This was not sustainable, therefore the lack of a yield.


The second year we didn't add any new compost, and tried again. My thought was that the compost would be better for the plants. The tomato plants were not doing well at first. We took a soil sample to a local place. Meanwhile I suggested yo my wife that she hit them with some Pete's. This did the trick. The tomatoes snapped right back. Mid-season I realized that the planters were not getting enough sun. I cut back some trees to provide more sun, but it was already too late. The yield was disappointing again.


This year I found the SFG website and this forum. After a ton of reading, I decided to re-size the boxes, move the boxes to a better location, and change my soil mix. My boxes are designed slightly different than the SFG box recommendation. I use 1"X6" composite boards that are three boards high, roughly 16.5" high. This allows for plants that require deeper soil without any special adjustments to the box. From the two original boxes, I was able to build two 4'X4' boxes and one 4'X3'. These were relocated to the North East corner of the house. They get plenty of sun from sunrise to sunset. For the soil, I went out and purchased a half yard of top soil. The mix is comprised of 4 parts top soil, 4 parts old compost from the original boxes, 1 part manure and 1 part peat moss. This was mixed together and the boxes were filled. So far this year I've seen a nice steady growth pattern.


We also purchased a single share from a local CSA, Greenview Farm. This cost us $320 for a 20 week season or $16/week for a grocery bag of vegetables. Not too bad, and it takes the pressure off our gardening skills. Hopefully within a year or two we'll be producing enough for ourselves that we can stop using the CSA.


In year three, I think we are off to a good start. Looking forward to a successful season.



Jason

boettg33

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Join date : 2011-07-04
Location : Rhode Island

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Re: Joining from little Rhode Island

Post  camprn on 7/4/2011, 11:31 am

to the forum Jason!!! So glad to have another New England Yank here. Cheers and Thumbs up for a successful season!!
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camprn

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