Garden: 2020

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Ken Anderson, May 3, 2020.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    planter-2.jpg
    planters-1.jpg

    It's time to get a garden in. Since our yard is built on coal ash, it is necessary to plant above ground, given that we have only a few inches of soil before we hit the coal ash. That's what I've been doing with my compost piles, for the most part - using it to build up the soil in my yard, but I'm not there yet.

    So, I still have my older planter, which consists simply of an enclosure made of boards, laid on the ground, that I have filled with soil. One problem with that kind of a garden bed is that the boards rot pretty quickly, another is that my plow guy has a habit of pushing the snow much further into the yard that he needs to, since we don't use most of the driveway in the winter anyhow, and damages the planter in the process.

    I repaired it, somewhat, last year, so we'll probably get a couple more years out of it, but these are going to be a big help. Plus, I won't have to get on my knees to get at things. Besides this, I am going to grow some potatoes using the tower method that I mentioned somewhere. I'll post pictures after I've done it.
     
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  2. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    Looks good, Ken. Where are you going to get the dirt to put in them?
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I'll buy some of it, but I'll use a mixture of topsoil, peat moss, and compost. The town maintains a compost pile that's free to residents, so I can haul away as much of that as I need, but I want to mix some topsoil and peat moss in with it.
     
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  4. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    My son has raised beds but I think his are on the ground. He buys some potting soil but he also gets some topsoil from somewhere. Last year he put some aged horse manure and this year he put some chicken manure. They both are excellent fertilizers. He has added more raised beds this year.
     
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  5. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    We have so many trees all around this property that it is hard to grow anything that can’t grow in deep shade. We get a little morning sun out front but not much.

    The owner of the property next door had all of the trees removed that were between the two houses, and that now gives us a nice amount of sun out back, but that is where the dogs run around, and they dumped my potted plants and chewed up the pots.
    So, I picked out the small area where it gets the most sunshine, and Bobby is going to put up a dog fence/barrier there, and maybe make me a raised bed on the sides of the fence.

    I spent the last couple of days cleaning out the area, weedeatering , and trimming back the wild grape vines; so it is getting close to being ready for the fence and then planting the tomatoes, along the back fence.
    Hopefully, they will get enough sunshine that they can actually grow plants and be strong enough to have tomatoes , and not the skinny little vines I usually have been getting.
    I should have taken a photo before I started, but here is how it looks so far.

    14F7DC6D-35CF-44FC-AF49-2BF213E358C5.jpeg
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    It was raining again today so I didn't want to go dig compost from the town compost pile. So, I bought ten bags of a raised garden soil they had at the Tractor Supply Company, five bags of humus/manure, and five bags of topsoil. To that, I added a large brick of Coco Noir that expands to about 17 gallons of the equivalent of peat moss, and some Perlite. This didn't come close to filling my three new raised gardens, but there's enough there to grow what we want to grow this year, so I think I'll just plant shallow and sprinkle some peat moss over the top of it, then add to it next year. Tomorrow, the compost yard is closed but I plan to pick up some finished compost from there on Thursday for our old raised garden and to plant some perennials along the back of the yard, near the railroad tracks. I'll have to cut a few scrub trees down but my chainsaw is ready to go.
     
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  7. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    We have been using the leaves and pine needles for “filler” in places where it would need a lot of dirt/compost to fill up the container. Since there are so many trees here, we have lots and lots of that, and then we add the potting soil and garden soil on the top, deep enough to plant in. As the leaves/needles rot and disintegrate we just a more dirt each year to build it back up again.
    We don’t have any large raised beds, but Bobby did this under one of the big trees where he made a little containing fence around it.
     
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  8. Ed Wilson

    Ed Wilson Very Well-Known Member
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    I have 4 Sweet Million cherry tomatoes getting bigger in the window, 2 to plant and 2 spares. Start 4 sunflowers which are supposed be giants and 2 morning glories today. Last frost here is around Memorial Day.
     
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  9. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Darn it! I just got our plants in a couple of days ago, and now we're supposed to have snow tonight, tomorrow, and tomorrow night. Tomorrow night is the only night when the temps are supposed to be below freezing, at 30 degrees. I've covered the planters with some tar paper that I have, so maybe we'll be okay.
     
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  10. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    I have moved our little plants in and out of the house several times already this year, and they are currently all back inside until next week when it is supposed to warm back up again.
    The larger containers, with the bigger plants in them are staying outside, but in a sheltered area. The little seedlings are still pretty delicate, so we just bring them all back inside each time we have had a cold spell. thankfully, we are not supposed to have snow (like some people are expecting); but it has been down into the 30’s at night the last few days, and supposed to stay cold until early next week.
    I think this should be the last time that I have to bring the plants inside. As they grow, they will be stronger, plus we should be into warm summer weather and not 30 degree winter kind of temperatures.

    A9DC30CE-BD07-4FD0-9AEE-DA5DB907F4CB.jpeg
     
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  11. Charlene Marolf

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    I've gotta jump in on this conversation! There might be raised beds here soon, just to try them out. Does anyone have success with a particular plant with this type of gardening? It's new to me. I've not done gardening in the south at all. I miss the gardens I had when I lived in Iowa, and I'm unsure if there is any difference here. I know the soil is different, but I suppose I'll be buying some from somewhere.
     
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  12. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Depending on the size, I suppose anything could be grown in a raised garden bed. Perhaps, perennials might not be a good idea in cold weather areas because the soil might freeze over the winter, and you probably wouldn't have a frost line, but anything else can be grown in a raised garden. The further off the ground it is, the fewer insect problems you'll have, particularly if the raised garden planter is made of cedar, which some insects avoid.
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    We had a fair amount of snow yesterday, but it's pretty much all gone now. I covered my beds with some tar paper that I had around. A tarp would have been easier but I didn't have one of those around. I uncovered them today, and it looks like everything survived.
     
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  14. Charlene Marolf

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    I think the ground doesn't freeze here, that's why I haven't tried any plants that I've grown in the midwest. My son that still lives there likes to tease me with rhubarb. It was my favorite, and now I don't have any.
     
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  15. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    I'm in Maine, and I haven't had any luck with rhubarb. It's been a few years now and, while it comes up every year, the first warm day knocks it down before it gets nearly large enough to use for anything, and we rarely have temperatures above the 80s.
     
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