Garden Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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Lemur
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Re: Garden Log

Post by Lemur » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:52 am

I read in gardening book at my library that a fella by the name of Mel Bartholomew recommended this mix in his square foot gardening methodology:

1/3 Compost
1/3 Vermiculite
1/3 Peat Moss

Further Youtubing led me to discover that in some circles peat moss is replaced with coco coir as the latter is more environmentally sustainable. Up until this point, I've basically gardened with 100% compost and just manually tilling my soil with a shovel. Learned some new stuff here.

This year new adventures:

- Started my own compost bin (learned some stuff here too...it isn't suppose to smell :shock: ? So I added in some carbon...(shredded paper and cardboard)
- Continuing to maintain garlic (planed last fall)
- Successful in planting greens for the first time
- I was also successful in sprouting tomatoes and jalapenos but my sister's cat ate them (yes mad haha)
- Built 3 new vegetable beds...just planted squash and hoping to be successful this year (1st year great, 2nd year got swarmed by squash bugs).

7Wannabe5
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Re: Garden Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:00 pm

@Lemur:

You can experiment with any number of rough carbon sources available locally. For instance, fill a trash can with brown maple leaves and shred with a whacker. Vermiculite is far too expensive to use in large application.

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Lemur
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Re: Garden Log

Post by Lemur » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:49 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:00 pm
@Lemur:

You can experiment with any number of rough carbon sources available locally. For instance, fill a trash can with brown maple leaves and shred with a whacker. Vermiculite is far too expensive to use in large application.
Yep. There is plenty of brown leaves around me to use. I live right in front of a woods area.

Any good substitution for vermiculite (if required at all)?

George the original one
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Re: Garden Log

Post by George the original one » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:38 pm

"Horticultural Vermiculite has the excellent property of improving soil aeration while retaining the moisture and nutrients necessary to feed roots, cuttings, and seeds for faster growth. Like perlite, horticultural vermiculite is permanent, clean, odorless, non-toxic and sterile."

In other words, using wood chips as a decaying mulch would serve a similar purpose. Where a wood chip mulch is inappropriate, you can also work compost & sand into the soil, though use caution with sand in clay soil as the crust is like cement.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Garden Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:53 pm

Lemur wrote:Any good substitution for vermiculite (if required at all)?
It tends towards aeration, lightening and retention of water. It's never strictly necessary, but I do like to use it in small potting situations. The Bartholomew method, which I do think is excellent for beginning gardeners, kind of treats each square ft. of the veggie patch as if it is a separate pot. So, pretty much intensive opposite of extensively managed giant field of mono-crop.

Currently, my beds are 4 ft wide heaped up compost with trenches dug round. I compost and green manure (inputs are mainly neighbors' lawn clippings in my urban setting) fertilize in place, so just throw stuff either directly on top of the beds around the plants or into the trenches, to be dumped back on top after it decomposes. Any empty space is covered with straw or kept planted with something, preferably legume, which is just chopped down and dropped where it grew with roots left to decompose below surface.

bigato
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Re: Garden Log

Post by bigato » Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:04 pm

Looking great! I can tell the amount of you work you put in there, congratulations! Also, I like where you are going: you do not have the goal of producing everything, but is going in that direction anyway just because. Love it. And I am also a fan of not leaving bare land exposed to the sun, it really helps the soil grow rich in life.
Last edited by bigato on Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Garden Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:02 pm

@bigato:

Thanks. The project is not quite as far along as I anticipated being at this point. Life intruded. But, we are hitting our stride, and some of the permanent plantings are starting to pop. Focus will be on vines and mid-layer perennials this year.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Garden Log

Post by EdithKeeler » Fri May 03, 2019 7:28 pm

Obviously, meeting fat and protein needs will be most tricky. I am having terrible luck with growing small nut trees/shrubs. Sunflower seeds combined with fishing....
Are you growing amaranth? It’s got a ton of protein (complete protein, btw), and is also tasty. And native to the americas. It’s pretty easy to grow, and some varieties actually come up as “weeds.”

https://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-gr ... rain-month

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.garden ... ranth/amp/

7Wannabe5
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Re: Garden Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat May 04, 2019 6:28 am

@Edith:

I've grown Love Lies Bleeding as an ornamental, but I haven't attempted amaranth as a crop. Good idea.

I am on a bit of a spring buying and planting spree, so I just ordered some Virginia Groundnut as a perennial protein option, as well as some perpetual seed-grown rhubarb.

Cheepnis
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Re: Garden Log

Post by Cheepnis » Sat May 18, 2019 2:03 pm

Been eating salads with spinach and radishes from the garden. Radishes didn't get quite as big as they're supposed to, but they're delicious. Peas are climbing their trellises nicely. Only around half the length of carrots rows I sowed sprouted, so that's a bummer, but the tops of those that did are 6" tall now. Getting ready to pull the spinach and plant beans, cucumbers, and zucchini soon.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: Garden Log

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat May 18, 2019 5:06 pm

My corn is starting to come up, and I just pulled some of my radishes. My garlic is really tall and looks good. I like the idea of growing amaranth, good call Edith. I might plant some of that this year and see what happens.

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Lemur
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Re: Garden Log

Post by Lemur » Tue May 21, 2019 7:03 pm

I got salad greens and tomato plants growing for the first time this year but the ground hogs got em :/

I hope ground hogs don't like squash plants...those are my favorite.

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jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny » Sun May 26, 2019 7:55 am

Well, the garden is mostly a bust this year. We put in some tomato plants but most of the beds are sitting unused. Maybe the break will be good because I'm already sorry I didn't put more effort into it (absence makes the heart grow fonder etc). The one thing I really miss is herb gardening. It's my first love. Some are perennials and have come up again this year and I'll use those. I think I would miss the herbs more than anything so I'll focus on that. I might even try to get more of those going even though it's late May.

I really love herbs ... for their scent, for their beauty, for their ease, for cooking, for medicinal teas ... and they are the only plants I've always had great luck with. Maybe I was a witch in a previous life.

I need to figure out a system that I can handle on my own though. I find that I can put my first big burst of energy of the day into the garden or into exercising. I can't seem to manage both. I'm not sure what the solution to that is ... do an every other day thing? or exercise when it's not gardening season but put all my energy into the garden for a few months every year. Not sure.

bigato
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Re: Garden Log

Post by bigato » Sun May 26, 2019 8:43 am

gardening already *is* exercise, isn't? what does exercise gives you that gardening don't? maybe garden harder or with more variety instead of exercising for the sake of exercising?

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jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny » Sun May 26, 2019 9:04 am

I think gardening is good for not being too sedentary, but I don't think it's really exercise. Unless I'm hauling something from the truck or digging I don't break a sweat. It does keep me more more flexible (squatting, etc) so I don't feel like I need yoga or anything when I'm gardening.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Garden Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue May 28, 2019 5:27 pm

Yeah, I have had the same problem with either/or devotion of morning energy to gardening vs. exercise. Obviously, exercise is meant to be efficient method of physical conditioning, so trade-off is maybe 1 hour exercise vs. 4 hours mixed gardening activities = same amount of overall conditioning.

tonyedgecombe
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Re: Garden Log

Post by tonyedgecombe » Wed May 29, 2019 5:35 am

I often wonder if we are going to find the optimum is like a pyramid. Lots of low level like walking or gardening, a medium amount of mid level and a small amount of intense workout.

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jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:26 pm

jennypenny wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 7:55 am
Well, the garden is mostly a bust this year.
Two weeks of lovely weather and a burst of inspiration and now the garden is looking pretty good. First we focused on what we like to grow, so DH expanded the tomatoes and I put in a lavender bed. We also filled in with some new herbs. Then put in some squash and basil. etc etc etc. It helps that our perennials are doing well -- cherries, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears, blackberries, raspberries, chamomile, thyme, sage, oregano -- and we've had several volunteers around the yard. (I think the strawberries would take over my whole yard if I let them.)

Anyway, I didn't set out to do a big garden because I was feeling overwhelmed. I just focused on smaller areas and smaller plantings ... and then suddenly I had a decent garden. I think I've learned two things. First, grand plans are great but you can get as much done (and possibly enjoy it more) if you focus on small garden pockets and let the garden develop organically. Second, perennials will tide you over when you don't put much effort into the garden, and they also provide inspiration and motivation when you just aren't in the mood to garden.

For example, seeing strawberry plants loaded with fruit makes you want to weed them a little. And then a little more. And then you see bare spot between the oregano and thyme and figure you might as well stick some seeds in there. And so on and so on. Then you look around on a Sunday afternoon and realize that your garden looks alive and well-loved ... and it feels really good. :)

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jennypenny
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Re: Garden Log

Post by jennypenny » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:32 am

It's time to throw the nets over the cherry trees and blueberry bushes, but I don't want to. Last year, a bird got caught in one of the nets and died before we found it. It broke my heart.

Is there anything else I can do besides netting them? We hung old CDs in the trees to scare them off but they aren't working.

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Ego
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Re: Garden Log

Post by Ego » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:53 pm

We used a fake owl to scare away pigeons.

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