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Under a desert shade cloth

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 1/3/2012, 3:02 pm

Thanks - wish I would have started my lettuce and spinach inside late summer and then transplanted for a longer growing season. They haven't grown as fast as anticipated... guess my basil ruined my expectations for all other plants.

jkahn2eb

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 2/29/2012, 7:00 pm

Just finished a small expansion against my north and east walls. It'll host beans in the summer and sugar snap peas in the winter (my wife's favorite).

Got all my seedlings transplanted over the past couple days. Tomato plants all survived the mild winter and are bursting with flowers. A number of tomatoes are already ripe and eaten. Broccoli is still sending up shoots and have been turning the leaves into chips. Wife and I eat salads with the lettuce and broccoli several times a week. The carrots are delicious. SFG may be the smartest thing I've done next to learning to shoot a basketball left-handed.

East wall:


North wall:


The entire garden:


Tasty lettuce (won't last much longer in this heat):

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/1/2012, 2:19 pm

SFG may be the smartest thing I've done next to learning to shoot a basketball left-handed.

cheers Glad you are enjoying the adventure! Beds look nice.

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  duhh on 3/5/2012, 12:14 am

Wow!! Beautiful set up. You also have so much more garden space now! Just in time for the spring planting season! I can't wait to see what it looks like a month or two from now, you'll have your own mini jungle back there!! Great work.

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  FamilyGardening on 3/5/2012, 12:46 am

thanks again for posting pics!

cheers it all looks great!

hugs

rose who loves looking at other gardeners gardens sunny

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 5/8/2012, 10:12 am

That time of year - shade cloth is back up along with a simpler, more sturdy & aesthetic PVC foundation. Think I'll fly my older brother in during the winter to help design and build a yearlong wood structure.

Didn't get as many large tomatoes as I hoped but the reisentraub has been very fruitful. Black cherry tomatoes good too.

This summer under the shade cloth:
Purple beans
Rattlesnake beans
Chinese red long beans
Blue lake beans
Alpha beit cucumbers
Zucchini
Corn
Diamond eggplant
Green onions
Garlic
Siam queen basil
Thyme
Ali baba watermelon
Honeydew rock melon
Cantaloupe
Lots of flowers

Also finished the automated watering system for the garden and small patch of grass. Took me almost a month to dig, correct issues and get the yard looking clean again. Fun stuff to learn. Plenty of Home Depot trips.

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 5/15/2012, 12:39 pm

We've grown from this:



to this:



Only one spot is not easily accessible (filled with flowers), otherwise the max width at any point is 4 ft in trying to adhere to SFG protocols.

Below clockwise from top: cucumbers, sunflowers,
blue bush beans, corn, purple beans, spinach, chinese red noodle beans;
reisentraub tomatoes, lettuce, vorlon tomatoes, garlic, green onions,
black cherry tomatoes, cherry tomatoes



The lillies I thought that died in the fall returned:


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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  Goosegirl on 5/15/2012, 2:29 pm

WOW jkahn2eb!!!

GG

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  walshevak on 5/15/2012, 7:53 pm

WOW, I'm truly impressed at change to the the beautiful landscaping that is also a veggie garden. Well done.

Kay

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 5/15/2012, 8:08 pm

The best part has been hooking neighbors, my soccer & softball teams and the folks down at the county recorder office with fresh tomatoes, lettuce and other goodies. I can't make enough kale chips using swiss chard and other big greens to keep my wife and others satisfied.

I've learned a ton about food origins, growing techniques, building irrigation & drip systems... and this forum has been a great resource. Thanks to all for those who've posted in every thread.


Can't wait to see what my garden looks like in two years.

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 6/14/2012, 10:40 am

1/3 SUMMER UPDATE

Almost all my seeds come from Baker Creek. Most of my plants get only 5 hrs of sun/day. Almost everything at this point is under a shade cloth.

Going extremely well in terms of production:
Eggplant, chinese red noodle beans, sunflowers (and how!), siam queen basil, cucumbers, marigolds, lillypot zinnias, swiss chard, malabar spinach, thyme, green onions

Plants look good but wondering where all the fruit is - minimal fruit:
Rattlesnake beans, bush blue beans, purple pod beans, zucchini, corn, garlic

Still too early to judge but looking good:
Honeydew, Ali Baba watermelon, cantaloupe

Holding on in the heat but not producing - will it last until fall?
3 types of tomatoes, some of which are flowering in the heat but I'm not expecting them to produce edible tomatoes until temps fall in mid-Sept


The sunflowers are attracting lots of bees to my garden, which makes me very happy. The bees look happier than pigs in ____. They are very small looking bees but there are normally two or three bees per flower and each sunflower plant has almost a dozen flowers blooming right now. We have three different sunflowers going: lemon, tiger and a mix. Lillypot zinnias remain my favorite flower I've grown. Marigolds are growing outside my garden in hard, non-watered areas outside my garden and are doing BETTER than those inside the garden. Amazing how nature thrives. I think mother nature is saying she can still do it better than I.


WINTER GARDEN UPDATE

I'll start these guys next month indoors - Broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, beets, lettuce, lettuce, lettuce, lettuce, lettuce, carrots, sugar snap peas

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  CharlesB on 6/14/2012, 1:50 pm

Good stuff jkahn2eb! You've got a beautiful oasis in your back yard.

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 6/14/2012, 8:02 pm

Thanks. I'm learning a lot in my first full year of gardening... especially where to place plants based on height. Late fall, after the shade cloth has come down, I plan to put in some wood beams to hang plants from, allow plants to climb, and provide a sturdier structure to hold the shade cloth. It currently droops low in some areas making it tall for those of us over 6' to walk comfortably.

This thread is also my place to keep notes so I can check back.

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  Miss Erica on 6/15/2012, 6:13 am

can you please post some pics of how you set up your shade cloth? I am thinking that perhaps I need to do that (living this close to the equator makes for very intense sun) but I am concerned about typhoons coming through and ripping out the shade cloth. How does your setup fare with the desert monsoon storms?

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  TejasTerry on 6/15/2012, 8:55 am

Your garden is just beautiful. I need to try those noodle beans. I am in South Texas, so our hot dry climate is probably close to yours.

I order everything from Baker Creek also.

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Re: Under a desert shade cloth

Post  jkahn2eb on 6/18/2012, 11:49 am

Miss Erica,

Here's what I've done so far:


The structure is built entirely out of 3/4" PVC pipe. It's not the sturdiest as you can see from the bend of the pipe. I'm no engineering expert but I know when building bridges and tall buildings they are designed to bend and sway.

To anchor the PVC pipe I pounded hollow metal stakes (these have a green plastic coat) about 6 inches into the ground and left about 2 feet sticking out of the ground to drop the PVC pipe over. The length in the ground seems to be enough to prevent them from being pulled up. The length above the ground seems to be enough to prevent the PVC pipe from lifting up due to a gust of wind.



I've experimented with several methods of attaching shade cloth to the PVC pipe (safety pins multiple problems, string wears)... until I found twist ties. The TV I purchased came with a bunch of different cables with twist ties about 5 inches long. The twist ties fit through the holes of the shade cloth and, being metal, are strong enough not to snap during wind.



We get monsoons here as well. So far this latest style has held up well in the wind but I'm cautious and take the shade cloth down during high winds. I don't glue my PVC structure together (for easy take-down and storage), so my biggest worry is the part of the structure will come loose and fall on my garden - not the end of the world since shade cloth and PVC are pretty light. This fall I plan to replace the PVC with a permanent multipurpose wood structure.

One last note on my structure - again I'm not an engineer - but I leave enough slack for the shade cloth to flap around in the wind. That may be good... that may be bad... I'm learning and open to suggestions from others.

Bonus pic - my Lilliput Zinnias from Bakers Creek. These are my favorite flowers. The pic doesn't do them justice. Each flower starts off with one layer of flowers and then keep adding layers over the following week. Beautiful stuff. These each have half of their layers.



Thanks TejasTerry. They are the favorite bean of both my wife and I. I will plant many more of them next season. I'll let you know if the Rattlesnake beans ever start producing. The plant is HUGE with only 2 beans. I've seen tons of flowers but alas... little to chew on.

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