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our first vegetable garden


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#41 mydarling

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:30 PM

thanks for the link ggod! looks neat, but a little too much work right now considering all the effort it took just to prepare the ground soil, and also IDK what i would do with all those potatoes!! :amazed: i've heard of this method before, and would like to give it a try at some point in the future when i'm a little more experienced growing the spuds. ;)

speaking of potatoes, can anyone shed light on this "when to plant potatoes" issue?? i've been told to plant now, and i've found in my research that potatoes can be planted as soon as the last frost date passes (which it has):

Potatoes can be planted very early in the season -- almost as soon as the frost is out of the ground and you're able to work the soil.


but, i've also been told by some experienced growers that potatoes prefer hotter weather, so i should wait a few more weeks...... i'm confused what to do. i have some sprouted red potatoes here waiting to be planted, so should i keep em a little longer or get them in the ground now??

and, how essential is acidic pH for growing taters? apparently they prefer pH as low as 4.5, but that doesn't seem really feasible to me. we added some gypsum w/ sulfur, but the pH still isn't much below neutral (did a water run-off test w/ pH meter)... help!

#42 mydarling

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:42 PM

so, onward with the updates!

every day last week, we tilled and watered the soil in both the large and the small soil patches. removing weeds/roots as we found them, aerating & mixing the soil, etc.

this weekend, we spent several hours just sittin' and whackin' at the soil with hand trowels to break up all the soil clumps. it is full of clay and tends to get terribly clumpy and crumbly, so it has taken a great deal of manhandling to get it loose and aerated enough for veggies.

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after it was sufficiently de-clumped to our liking...

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we then mixed these supplements into the existing dirt:

  • 10 lbs gympsum
  • 1.5 cubic feet of organic planting compost
  • 0.5 cubic feet of organic worm castings
  • 2 cubic feet of organic top soil.

i can't tell you the difference this made in terms of soil softness, aeration, and generally the ability to support lifeforms other than weeds! take a gander at this lovely, lovely soil. :)

IMG_0781 (small).JPG – gypsum added
IMG_0784 (small).JPG – topsoil, compost, and worm castings added
IMG_0800 (small).JPG – everything all mixed in and ready to go! :)

this same soil treatment was also done to the smaller, skinnier patch that we will be using for herbs.

my research, as well as information provided by you topiates, has provided a basis for splitting up the garden into appropriate beds for each veggie. but before starting, we stole some of the new mixed up soil and transferred it the round pot (for tomatoes) and long window boxes (for strawberries)!

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ok, so in the next post i'll explain the planting method used for the ones we put in the ground yesterday. and - BTW - the soil looks kinda grey-ish in the next pics cause by the time we finished, the sun was goin down, so there wasn't a lot of daylight to illuminate it. ;)

stay tuned.... :dance:

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Edited by mydarling, 29 March 2010 - 07:29 PM.
typos, doh


#43 August West

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:48 PM

speaking of potatoes, can anyone shed light on this "when to plant potatoes" issue?? i've been told to plant now, and i've found in my research that potatoes can be planted as soon as the last frost date passes (which it has):



but, i've also been told by some experienced growers that potatoes prefer hotter weather, so i should wait a few more weeks...... i'm confused what to do. i have some sprouted red potatoes here waiting to be planted, so should i keep em a little longer or get them in the ground now??

and, how essential is acidic pH for growing taters? apparently they prefer pH as low as 4.5, but that doesn't seem really feasible to me. we added some gypsum w/ sulfur, but the pH still isn't much below neutral (did a water run-off test w/ pH meter)... help!


I'd put them in the ground. If you are past your projected last frost, they'll be fine. Again, I'm colder than you and we already have them in. As far as your soil, I wouldn't worry too much about it. You can always add more acidity during the growing season too. Of course, our soil has to be sweetened so, as far as spuds are concerned we're doing fine. Seriously though, I'd put them in the ground and out of your mind...:)

#44 toadshroom

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:54 PM

beautiful! I can't wait to get a place with a yard so I can have a garden too!:greenboun

#45 shadesofgrey212

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 06:58 PM

It looks like you are getting a lot accomplished. Congrats! :thumbup:

#46 mydarling

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 08:00 PM

LETTUCE

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there's a spot a few feet wide in between a random succulent plant (don't know what it is) and a rose bush, which is closest to the water spigot. it is consistently cooler than the other regions, since it gets water runoff and shade from the plants. so, the romaine and prizehead lettuce were planted here.

we basically chose to plant the lettuce by the "wide row" method, found at this neat website: http://www.garden.org. using twine, we sectioned off 2 adjacent blocks, each approx. 15” x 18” - one for each of the two types of lettuce.

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then we smoothed the surface lightly w/ small rake and sprinkled the seeds evenly around each block. tried to scatter them across the seedbed as evenly as possible, using about ½ a packet of seeds for each block.

then the seeds were gently pressed the seeds into the soil with palm of hand and covered with ½ layer of soil, and then we patted the soil once on top.

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CUCUMBERS & ZUCCHINI

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these were planted in areas with full, bright sunlight. tried to sloped the soil up a bit in the back, near the trellises, to facilitate better drainage. the zucchini will have its own trellis, but the straight cucumbers and lemon cucumbers are gonna be trained onto the same trellis (unless they run out of room, then i suppose we'll get another one for em ;)).

they were all planted by the hill and trellis methods, also found at that cool website i linked above ^ ! man, so much good info there... :thumbup:

we traced out one circle for each of the 3 types of squashes near the bases of the trellises. seeds were then planted every 3” around the perimeters of these circles. also, 2 inches beneath the soil surface of each circle, there's a ½” thick layer of straight compost.

IMG_0806 (small).JPG – LEFT: zucchini trellis; RIGHT: cucumber trellis. haha the cucumber one kinda looks like an old-school boombox..... sweet!

there are also 2 more blocks sectioned off between the two trellises, where the sweet and hot pepper seedlings will be transplanted... and the rows below them are for carrots!

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CARROTS

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short, vertical furrows were drawn in the soil in the region just in front of the cucumbers and zucchini. each row is about 4” apart from the next, and ¼” deep. thin layer of compost was placed at bottom of each furrow, then carrot seeds were dropped in – 3 or 4 seeds per inch. then, another thin layer of compost was added, and lastly, the surrounding soil was pushed back over the furrow and gently pressed with fingertips.

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coming soon to a vegetable grow log near you:

the sprouted red potatoes get chunked up and buried. :headbang:
the tomatoes and peppers begin their lives indoors. :headbang:
the skinny soil patch gets inseminated with herb seeds. :headbang:

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Edited by mydarling, 30 March 2010 - 03:41 PM.
typooooo


#47 mydarling

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 08:15 PM

I'd put them in the ground. If you are past your projected last frost, they'll be fine


alright, i'll do it this week! :greenboun thanks as always, august.

#48 mydarling

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 08:51 PM

:horse:

just found out it's going to rain on wednesday and thursday... even gonna get some thunderstorms on thurs..... so how do i save my seeds from drowning, or getting washed away ?? :cry:

#49 shadesofgrey212

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 08:59 PM

:(

Maybe you can put a tarp over some of it?

Unfortunately, that seems to be a common problem when planting anything. I think i see a green house in my future...then maybe the weather won't destroy anything I want to start...

Maybe it won't be too bad. I'll pray for a light storm in your area.

:eusa_pray:eusa_pray:eusa_pray:eusa_pray:eusa_pray:eusa_pray:eusa_pray

#50 tenjin

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 12:22 AM

Sounds like you got each area staked out for each plants needs, very cool!

I think you will be ok with the seeds, some rain water and wet conditions may actually help them, especially when the days after are really nice. Unless it like a flood rain, then a tarp might be good.

#51 August West

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 01:22 AM

Sounds like you got each area staked out for each plants needs, very cool!

I think you will be ok with the seeds, some rain water and wet conditions may actually help them, especially when the days after are really nice. Unless it like a flood rain, then a tarp might be good.


Yea, can't really see a problem here unless you get serious puddling in your garden. Even some puddling isn't a huge deal. It seems though, if you've prepped the soil in any way, it won't be compacted, so the water will probably drain rather quickly...I'd be surprised if the rain fell hard enough to disturb your seeds. We've been drowning here for the last few days and I didn't even give it a thought. In fact, we did most of the work in some of the hardest rain...

good luck!

#52 mydarling

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 03:44 PM

ok, i don't feel so bad about the coming rain now. :) tomorrow supposed to be light rain, so i will just leave the seedbeds alone.... thurs supposed to be heavier, so i'll put a tarp down if it looks like it might cause a lot of damage. i think i better get the herb seeds in the ground tonight!

so, is it ok to plant the potatoes before the big rain? or should i wait til it passes? man, potatoes are hard! :horse:

#53 Sidestreet

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 07:20 PM

Potatoes wont get washed out like other little seeds...

#54 mydarling

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 12:30 AM

so, guess what? that storm that we were predicting never showed up. hahaha. the weather changed suddenly... just been pretty windy this week.

it did rain a little last night/early morning, and i realized that the water pouring off the edges of the eaves drops right in the middle of the garden :eusa_doh:hopefully this won't disturb the seeds too much.

last night i started an indoor seedling tray :D

the tomato and pepper seeds were soaked overnight in a mild H2O2 solution, but the rest were planted straight out of the paper pouches they come in. so far, we've got 12 compartments (wells) for each of the following seed types:

- italian roasting peppers (mixed islero and giallo strains)
- thai chilis (mixed orange fogo & red demon strains)
- genovese basil
- thyme
- yellow cherry tomatoes
- red cherry tomotaoes

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we ran out of space, so we scored another seedling tray today & some more seed starter mix, which will get planted in the next few days with the thai lemon basil, strawberries, and lots of morning glories! lys can tell you more about that last one. :smokin:

i read that potatoes will just rot if you plant them in soil that's too wet, so i held off a few days to wait for the storm to pass. but, it didn't really rain after all. HA! those will get planted this weekend if all goes to plan :dance: oh yeah, we also planted chives & cilantro outdoors in the "herb patch" :)

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#55 DarkLestor

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 06:32 AM

looking good!

but i would get those potatoes outta that mesh ba ASAP! the eyes are easily broken off when trying to get them out, believe me, i know:eusa_booh use an egg carton and set each potato in its own section.

blessings on your garden!

#56 mydarling

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 08:26 PM

i would get those potatoes outta that mesh ba ASAP! the eyes are easily broken off when trying to get them out, believe me, i know:eusa_booh


haha, you're totally right about that, and i wish i'd read your advice earlier. a couple of the sprouts were actually growing through and around the mesh. good thing i had 2 bags' worth to choose from ;)

here were best ones, and i planted two of these today. they're just red new potatoes from the grocery store. i guess i was supposed to get "certified seed potatoes" from a nursery to avoid certain diseases and pests, but too late now...

Posted Image

they're like alien potato monsters from another planet :space: thanks for stopping by, lestor!

yesterday we dug out some potato trenches in the last corner of space that hasn't already been reserved for another plant (am i perhaps being overzealous with this project? :teeth:). they're approx 8" deep, and about 12" x 10-8" across. i know, i know, these are really small trenches. but this was all the space we had left, and i wanted at least 2 plants in case 1 dies :dead:. they'll just be ultra baby potatoes !!!

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i put a thin layer of compost at the bottom, followed by 2 inches of the super-soil we mixed up last weekend. a sprouted potato was placed on top ....

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.... and then another 4" of soil to top it off!

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here's a long view of the area where the lettuce, carrots, zucchini, and cucumbers were planted last weekend, and now the potatoes too. nothing has germinated yet, but they're getting lots of sunshine and moisture, so i'm being patient :eusa_pray

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seedling tray # 2 was also planted yesterday. 72 more wells, yo! we've got strawberries, thai lemon basil, and heavenly blue morning glories planted in this one.

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Posted Imagewoot.. morning glories!Posted Image

by the way: is this amount of condensation ok inside the lid? should i wipe it down? i've been opening their lids briefly to air them out once per day. should i poke some holes and stuff 'em with polyfil??

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oh no. i'm starting to think of the seedling trays like they're monotubs. i need help! :lol: :special:

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Edited by mydarling, 04 April 2010 - 08:56 PM.
photos


#57 mydarling

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 12:25 AM

stuff that's started germinating:

morning glories!
red cherry tomatoes!
thyme!
genovese basil!
both kinds of lettuce!


:cacti::cacti::cacti:

#58 kocos

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 03:26 PM

I just managed to read your thread from the start. Awesome stuff! Cant wait to see how they progress :) Iam sure youll get a few taters from those small holes!

Keep us posted!

#59 DarkLestor

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 05:47 PM

looking good mydarling!

you should get a fair few potatos out of those if you mound them up as you go. not a huge issue with planting non-certified seed potatos, it's a good idea to rotate where you plant them every year anyhow.

i love watching seedlings come up! you will be so proud when you get your first tomatos off the plants you grew from seed. i am every year!

let me know if you need any questions answered, i'm an old hand around the garden.

best of luck!

#60 mydarling

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 09:53 PM

:hugs: thanks for expressing interest, guys. this is a fun new thing for me. it's really good to know there are such experienced, wise gardeners out there to help me along! i can't wait to walk outside and pick something out of the dirt when i'm hungry, instead of going grocery shopping :rasta:

well i guess i should post some pics of the progress... things are moving along rather nicely... :) here are some photos from today.

tomatoes. btw, at what point should i take these outta the seedling dome and let them grow in fresh air? they're really taking off.

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genovese basil. yes, only 1 seed has sprouted so far... hehe

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thyme. wasn't expecting anything yet from these, since they take the longest to germinate of all the stuff i've planted.. but they were one of the first to pop up! also have read that thyme is pretty hard to grow from seed. but oddly, they seem to be doing well.

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lettuce. can't remember which pic is the romaine and which is prizehead... :eusa_thin

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cucumbers. also can't remember which is the straight eight and the round lemon. oh well haha

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zucchini.
i know this ain't much to look at yet, but it's alive ! ! !

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morning glories. these guys are growing super fast.

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so, no activity yet on the carrots, cilantro, chives, lemon basil, strawberries, or any of the peppers.

i know pepper seeds germinate better at temps around 80F, but it's not much higher than 70 where i've got them right now. i do have a heating pad though, do you think i should put it under them on low setting, wrapped in towel? (only while i'm at home and kept under a watchful eye, of course)

thanks for any tips/suggestions/kudos. ;)

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