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Thread: The 2009 Garden Thread

  1. #26
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    For the first year in my adult life, I will be able to have a garden! There an angled section about 10 to 12 feet wide between the back of my garage and a 6 foot privacy fence. However because of issues with junk in the soil, I plan on doing several smaller raised vegetable gardens with a center walkway. Right on the back of the garage, which is south facing, I was thinking of planting a grape vine and a hopps vine.

    I still need to install the privacy fence along the back property line (It backs up to a parking lot for a one story office building) and build the frames, but I am very excited that I will finally have this opportunity.

    Now I just need to make a list of what I want to plant. Any suggestions?
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  2. #27
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    As I have stated in other threads, we have an endless hot water system in our house. However, sometimes when warming up water in the shower or in the kitchen sink, it takes a loooong time to get hot water; therefore the water runs cold until the hot water can be heated and run through the system to the faucet. So this year, I may look filling buckets with cold water while waiting for the hot and then dumping the buckets into a back yard, gravity fed cistern for the garden. This would work for rain collecting, but the Western Prior Appropriation water laws make it illegal for Coloradoans to collect rain out of their own gutters.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  3. #28
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Gardening has begun in Florida around Twin Palms Vineyards.

    Annoyingly insensitive

  4. #29
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    60 degrees here in Zone 4 today!

    I have several bags of spring bulbs hanging in the garage; maybe I can get 'em in the ground.

  5. #30
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    60 degrees here in Zone 4 today!

    I have several bags of spring bulbs hanging in the garage; maybe I can get 'em in the ground.
    aka. 'throwing down the gauntlet' (sigh)

    First you force me to open this thread? Now you're forcing me to respond?


    Well, since I'm here, I'll just briefly mention that it's a good thing that our little heat wave is only going to last one day. 'Cuz if you get several successive 50 degree days - even in February - it's possible for your early spring crocuses to sprout up...only to get prematurely smacked down when winter returns. The area fruit farmers don't usually have to worry about losing buds if we get a thaw this time of year, but I understand they get pretty skittish when you start having successive 50 degree days during early/mid-March.

    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    ...... I may try some blueberries this year.
    I missed this earlier. Did you plant blueberries yet? Iíve made the decision to plant 3 or 4 blueberry bushes this year and have been doing a bit of research into how to get the best results. The biggest thing with blueberries is soil acidity. They love acid soils. Chances are your FL panhandle soils are not going to be acid enough on their own to promote proper blossom development (and have disappointing harvests). Many casual gardeners donít bother to test their soil and for some of the more popular vegetables thatís not such a big deal as long as the soil is somewhere in the neutral-ish range; most veggies are pretty tolerant in that regard. But with blueberries most cultivars require a ph level at or below 5.5. If youíre growing blueberries and havenít tested the soil yet I recommend doing so. If you need to make the soil more acid around your blueberries there are several ways you can do it. Hereís a couple links:

    http://www.savvygardener.com/Features/soil_ph.html
    http://www.thegardenhelper.com/acidsoil.html

  6. #31
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    aka. 'throwing down the gauntlet' (sigh)
    ...

  7. #32
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    For the first year in my adult life, I will be able to have a garden! There an angled section about 10 to 12 feet wide between the back of my garage and a 6 foot privacy fence. However because of issues with junk in the soil, I plan on doing several smaller raised vegetable gardens with a center walkway. Right on the back of the garage, which is south facing, I was thinking of planting a grape vine and a hopps vine.

    I still need to install the privacy fence along the back property line (It backs up to a parking lot for a one story office building) and build the frames, but I am very excited that I will finally have this opportunity.

    Now I just need to make a list of what I want to plant. Any suggestions?
    Can you post an aerial view of your yard? Need to look at available light - will your privacy fence be located south of your veggie garden? If so how far away?
    Since you have lots to do in your life right now and not much time to get your yard squared away I would suggest skipping the spring veggies and sticking to your main season summer crops this year - like tomatoes, corn, beans, cukes and the like.

    Quote Originally posted by Tranplanner View post
    There's something wrong with this map but I can't quite put my finger on it...
    Sheesh! Ya never can keep everyone happy all the time. Didn't you read zman's post? I don't know when polar bear season is up there! I thought Canadians were all about reindeer husbandry or making maple syrup.

    Anyway, I suppose if you must have your own 'special-needs' frost map you can use this one:


  8. #33
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Can you post an aerial view of your yard? Need to look at available light - will your privacy fence be located south of your veggie garden? If so how far away?
    Since you have lots to do in your life right now and not much time to get your yard squared away I would suggest skipping the spring veggies and sticking to your main season summer crops this year - like tomatoes, corn, beans, cukes and the like.
    I donít have a good view as the fence has not been installed yet as I need to removed rocks before the posts can be put in. The fence will be a 6 foot privacy that will be located approximately 6 feet from the closest edge of the fence. (12 to 15 foot space behind garage)

    Last summer I took a good look at this location and because of a lack of tree canopy, it receives more sun than many places of our yard. Additionally, because it is an isolated section between the back of the garage and the back property line, the area has limited usefulness for anything other than a garden or storage.

    My thinking was the planting beds will be about 6 to 8 inches above the ground in large wood boxes. The soil will be primarily organic base consisting of peat moss and compost. I also plan on putting in a gutter stormwater containment unit (large barrel with a spout at the bottom) that will be hooked up to a set of soaker hoses below the surface of the soil. This way the water runoff from the garage will be evenly distributed throughout the garden.

    I have decided to plant more of the summer crops like you suggested. I have also decided to plant two pots, one containing most of the ingredients of marinara sauce and the other will be ingredients for salsa. I have also been exploring the possibility of getting a hops vine and a grape vine. Who knows what they could make!

    Finally, I plan on getting a solar operated (battery) motion detecting sprinkler. While I donít have a problem with animals, some of the vegetable gardens in the neighborhood are repeatedly raided at night by homeless people. One garden was completely stripped on a Friday night. Ironically a neighbor saw who it was and he was arrested on a warm Saturday morning trying to sell the fresh produce at a local farmers market.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  9. #34
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I missed this earlier. Did you plant blueberries yet? Iíve made the decision to plant 3 or 4 blueberry bushes this year and have been doing a bit of research into how to get the best results. The biggest thing with blueberries is soil acidity. They love acid soils. Chances are your FL panhandle soils are not going to be acid enough on their own to promote proper blossom development (and have disappointing harvests). Many casual gardeners donít bother to test their soil and for some of the more popular vegetables thatís not such a big deal as long as the soil is somewhere in the neutral-ish range; most veggies are pretty tolerant in that regard. But with blueberries most cultivars require a ph level at or below 5.5. If youíre growing blueberries and havenít tested the soil yet I recommend doing so. If you need to make the soil more acid around your blueberries there are several ways you can do it. Hereís a couple links:

    http://www.savvygardener.com/Features/soil_ph.html
    http://www.thegardenhelper.com/acidsoil.html
    Thanks for the tips. Nope, we haven't planted. I'm still getting the raised bed ready and we just got the email yesterday that our plants had shipped. We can pick up a pH kit this week and see how the soil is.

  10. #35
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Thanks for the Blueberry tips!!!
    I just ordered 4 bushes so I will make sure I test.

    Also Asparagus, onion sets, bush beans, snow peas, tomatoes, peppers.
    We tore the heck out of the shrubs between us and the neighbor so I also ordered Lilac bushes and some arborvite. We have purchased the grass seed, just waiting for the weather to warm up. We will certainly get another huge cold snap. But we are ready to rock and roll.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  11. #36
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I will just have to live with garden envy since I don't have anywhere to plant anything. Maybe someday I will have a patch of dirt again.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  12. #37
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    I've been harvesting collards for a couple months now. Five plants, enough for a mess every week. They'll go 'till it warms up enough to put in summer stuff. I also tried a mesclun mix this winter. Planted in late November and it has stood up to the sever nights when it got down into the teens. I've cut a salad from it about six times now. If you like that type of salad it is a winner. Get enough from a 4X6 bed for three peopleevery other week or so. The rocket (arugla) tends to grow faster than the other lettuces so be warned about that. (RJ/ZG you might want to try next winter.

    Winter gardening here is great. Not so hot, nobug problems!. Although the crops are somewhat limited, there aris enough varity to make it worthwhile.

  13. #38
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Richi View post
    Winter gardening here is great. Not so hot, nobug problems!. Although the crops are somewhat limited, there aris enough varity to make it worthwhile.
    Richi, any chance we could get a picture of those savoy cabbages this year?

  14. #39
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I bought the book "All New S.F. Gardening". Pretty interesting concept I think. Maister I take it you have experience with this concept. How have you installed your planters? I am thinking that I might create two separate planters, but wondered what people who had tried it thought.

    I am hoping this will increase my production. I think I am going to grow the corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers in a row like I usually do, but work with herbs and other veggies in these new fangled s.f. boxes.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  15. #40
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    I bought the book "All New S.F. Gardening". Pretty interesting concept I think. Maister I take it you have experience with this concept. How have you installed your planters?
    I do have experience but should point out that I own a copy of (and practice) the original S F Gardening technique which did not mandate the construction and use of raised beds, and simply relies on 4' x 4' sections of earth. Over time the author, Mel Bartholamew became a big advocate of container gardening (has many advantages, the biggest being the creation of the ideal initial soil media) and in the 'All New SF Gardening' I believe now advocates this technique exclusively. I am fortunate to have a nearly ideal loam in my back yard and have not required a rasied bed planter to date....although some problems with disease last year have prompted me to seriously consider constructing them this year.

    If you're looking for how-to answers in the planter department you should check with jmac, who constructed a classic 4' x 4' raised bed sf garden last year. Also, look up thread at zman's post. There's no reason you couldn't adapt his plans for constructing a 4' x 4' planter box - I will probably do so.


    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner
    I am thinking that I might create two separate planters, but wondered what people who had tried it thought.

    I am hoping this will increase my production. I think I am going to grow the corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers in a row like I usually do, but work with herbs and other veggies in these new fangled s.f. boxes.
    The claim that one will produce 100% of the harvest in 20% of the space using sf gardening methodology is NOT an idle boast or exaggeration. I can attest to it. Row planting on a home gardening scale has no advantages over sf gardening. I will never rely on row planting again.
    Last edited by Maister; 19 Feb 2009 at 9:48 AM.

  16. #41
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I got some red onions in the ground today; and spent 2 hours plucking up dollar weed in another bed (anyone from the south should know how this stuff thrives...those runners like to drive you crazy...) around the new dogwood tree and some bulbs from last year.

  17. #42
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Zeta Gamma is a slave driver, I tell you. Four hours of yard work and I'm done. She's still out there but promising to come in and make margaritas. Me? I can't wait, so I'm having a gin and tonic.

    I need a couple of more bags of ground cover and a couple of more plants for the area I was working on. Then I'll post the pic on HGTV. They're probably give me an award.

    One more thing: it's nice to be wearing shorts in February (although my legs are the color of the snow on the ground of our friends to the north ).
    Annoyingly insensitive

  18. #43
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I think I've mentioned before that I don't have much passion for landscaping or gardening. But here's what I got accomplished over the weekend...I wish I had a before picture.



    Annoyingly insensitive

  19. #44
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Zeta Gamma is a slave driver, I tell you. Four hours of yard work and I'm done. She's still out there but promising to come in and make margaritas.
    And I felt it today! In my shoulders, my legs. Even my butt muscles are sore. But I was able to finish getting the veggie bed ready, and the sugar snaps planted.

  20. #45
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    ......my butt muscles are sore.....
    Off-topic:
    I had nothing to do with that. I promise.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  21. #46
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    Maister, here are some pix of the savoy cabbage. Also a pix of the bee hives on far side of the cabbage patch.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Savoy Head.jpg   Savoy row.jpg  

    Main Line Bees.JPG  

  22. #47
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Richi, I tell you those savoy cabbages look nice. I think savoy varieties of cabbage and spinach taste better too (only problem is cleaning them is sometimes a pain). Yesterday I was going through cabbage in the seed catalogue and came across 'savoy express' seeds. Have you heard of these before? They're supposed to finish heading in something like 55 days!

  23. #48
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    This year, we'll be doing some vegetables and the like in the garden beds. But I am seriously thinking about making some changes for the rest of the yard.

    There are a couple plain gravelbeds in the front yard, that I may remove the gravel and do another xeric perennial garden, much like the one we have in front of the front porch. There is also a part of me that wants to uproot the front lawn and make a large perennial garden (also xeric) instead of lawn space.

    I will be checking in on both the edible and asthetic aspects of gardening on Colorado's High Plains in this thread.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  24. #49
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Finally have a tentative list of what to plant this year:
    Tomatoes
    Green peppers
    Rutabagas
    Onions
    Lettuce (three varieties)
    Corn
    Radishes
    Peas
    Beans (bush and pole)
    Beets
    Carrots
    Notably missing in this year's lineup are cucumbers, pumpkins, broccoli, and cabbage.

    Spices:
    Dill
    Thyme
    Basil
    Parsley
    Oregano

    Fruit:
    Blueberries (going to get three bushes and hope to be in the blueberries for the next 30 years.)

  25. #50
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    Maister, I haven't heard of the savoy express type. To be honest, I just plant a few seadlings that I get at the farm store. As soon as I pull out the summer garden, I plant fall/winter crops in the beds. I have even been able to get three crops in a few beds. I keep thinking about a small greenhouse or at least a cold frame so I could start seeds early, but...

    This year I am going to start (at least attempt to) some tomato seeds, because that is the only way to get really good tomatos. The varities sold as plants are very limited.

    zman - Go for it! Grass in yards is generally EVIL! Have you considered fruit trees? Some are low maintenance and give good bang for the buck. Flowers in spring, fall color and eats!

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