Garden Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1547
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Garden Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

sky wrote:
Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:38 pm
Thanks. I am trying to decide if it is worth it to fence in my garden area and cover the plants with insect screen next year.
I have had to fence my garden or the rabbits will kill many plants by completely eating them or tearing them out of the ground, especially when they are small. Some plants they are not interested in (pumpkin, zucchini) but others get destroyed. You can buy 50' of 3' fencing for $25 plus $3 per stake, or could improvise with scavenged materials if you can find them.

It has been similar for Japanese beetles. They all go to one plant and eat it. I pick them off and put them in a container. Some people drown them but I prefer to smash them so they don't suffer (weird, I know). It is manageable for a small garden. I'm not sure what I would do for a larger one.

Anyone trying to keep growing into winter, particularly in a colder area say Chicago or further north (zone 5 or colder)? I really like the idea of fresh vegetables in the winter but haven't tried it yet.

mooretrees
Posts: 363
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: Garden Log

Post by mooretrees »

@GdP, I'm planting now for winter harvest. I will need to cover them to protect from cold, but I think a simple plastic cover over some bent plastic tubing will do the trick. It is important to choose veggies that are hardy enough to survive colder temperatures normally. Greens like kale, collards, mesclun, broc, etc are more cold hardy. Depending on your local climate will determine how much protection you need to provide. A good resource I've found is Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman.

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1547
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Garden Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

It's funny you mention Four Season Harvest, I am reading it right now! I have some plants in the ground that I'm hoping will work in the winter like spinach, carrots, and beets. I need to read more of the book but plastic over tu ing or metal frame would be easy and I wouldn't have to buy anything.

It also sounds like a cold frame could be useful. I enjoy building things and I could make one for free with scavenged materials if I look around. I actually built one for someone as a project when I was a teenager. It was never used but it grew weeds inside like crazy! I need to learn more so don't waste time and energy on something I don't need though.

mooretrees
Posts: 363
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: Garden Log

Post by mooretrees »

Ha ha, that's funny. That book should get you set up just fine with plants to grow and options for protecting them.

CS
Posts: 623
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Re: Garden Log

Post by CS »

Took four bags of cucumbers to the food shelf yesterday because I did not understand how cucumbers grow and how quickly things get out of control. It was probably well over a hundred pounds. Next year will be fewer plants (frickin' WEEDS!) and picking earlier and pickling.

It has been a learning experience for sure. Next year will go much more smoothly.

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1547
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Garden Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

I spent a couple of hours building a cold frame over the weekend. I challenged myself to build it with only materials I already had and it came out no worse except that the glass is not hinged. If it is somewhat sunny out it picks up about 5 degrees F, if it is gray it doesn't go up at all. The book says it is mostly to block wind anyway. I plan to place it over some plants soon. It should be a good experiment.

I've been having fun coming up with wacky ideas to extend the concept. Something like making a larger, very well insulated cold frame and then heating it geothermally by circulating liquid about 10 feet underground and then through the cold frame using a wind turbine and mechanical pump. I'm guessing something about this idea doesn't work but it would be a fun low tech project that could be done for cheap if someone was committed.

CDR
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:45 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Garden Log

Post by CDR »

@Gilberto de Piento, your post reminded me of a youtube video I watched along time ago, where someone heated their greenhouse using a compost pile. They even buried their compost pile and insulated it so it would stay warm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFGgZfD3G7c So, maybe your idea could work after all!

UK-with-kids
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:55 am
Location: Oxbridge, UK

Re: Garden Log

Post by UK-with-kids »

It reminded me of gardeners in Cornwall (in southwest England) growing pineapples in 'hot beds' but shovelling horse manure underneath.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/t ... 25988.html

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 12757
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Garden Log

Post by jacob »

Cumulative 2020 harvest so far: 244.5 lbs / 24 different vegetables. September added another 50lbs, mostly tomatoes and butternut squash.

The spider is gone, but the bunny is still there. The squirrels are beginning to invade. Also found what according to google image looks to be a racoon turd. Wonder if there's an app for that?

George the original one
Posts: 5359
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one »

jacob wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:00 pm
Also found what according to google image looks to be a racoon turd. Wonder if there's an app for that?
Of course there is (but note animal scat not available for Android)
http://www.mynatureapps.com/mynature-animal-tracks/

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/critter-t ... d348693372

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1547
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Garden Log

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

We have now had a couple of light frosts but no damage yet. The tomato plants are really big but many tomatoes have yet to ripen. Ripening has slowed down a lot despite removing any flowers from the plants to encourage a focus on the fruit that is already there. Still getting kale, chard, beans, and herbs too.

The cold frame is working so far. I have spinach, carrots, and beets in it, with the same outside plus lettuce. I'm curious to see how it all works out. The carrots inside are bigger than outside but it is not a clear cut victory.

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