Once You Go Lumberjack

Gardening Gardening

Discussion in 'Hobbies and Interests' started by mattjm1017, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017

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    I would really like to have a big vegetable garden this year with lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, a variety of peppers, squash, carrots, herbs... ok you get the picture now Im just naming off anything that comes to mind. I have the land area to do it what Im looking for is some advice on planting everything and when should I start to prep the soil how should I prep the soil. I dont want to use pesticides and Im going to try to only get non GMO seeds or plants. Last year I had tomatoes and cucumbers and peppers. The tomatoes did great but the peppers got taken out by moles and the cucumbers grew up nice and tall and then just fried. Hopefully yall have some tips for me Im really looking forward to it this year I love fresh vegetable out of the garden.
     
  2. Grizzly Adam

    Grizzly Adam Technical Administrator

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    Raised bed, compost. Work the soil as soon as you can and put in your cold weather crops. Check out the book square foot gardening, very good beginners book. Do not water at the hottest time of day, probably why your cakes fried.
     
  3. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie

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    Wife and I had big gardens when we were young, pre-kids and getting started. As the kids came along and we got busier the gardens got smaller, after a while. Like wood burning, it is a lot of labor, but it can be a labor of love.

    I am breaking ground on a new garden now that I am retired. It is going to be a rectangle about 75X50ft which is much bigger than it needs to be to feed us, but I enjoy giving the veggies as gifts too. Also, for you dog owners, years ago I developed a new process to turn zucchini into dog food, when I had a huge Irish Setter. Zucchini will grow right in front of your eyes around here, you have to be careful not to miss one or it will get too big literally overnight.

    Here's the process.

    1. Grow and pic the zucchini
    2. Take it down to the farm stand/general store in the center of town and trade it pound for pound for dog food. (works like a champ)

    Here's a garden pic from many years ago, with a prego wife. (32 years ago)

    Advice I have is when you think you've added enough manure, add more. Chicken manure is excellent but really stinks unless very old. Cow manure is better than horse manure. Raised beds are great if you want to do that. Get the book I've listed the link for below.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Victory-Garden-Thomson/dp/0316843369
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  4. Grizzly Adam

    Grizzly Adam Technical Administrator

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    What a babe! Wife's not bad either ;)
     
  5. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie

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    Note the old HI Scout I used to plow with off in the background. What a great snow moving machine that was.
     
  6. Daryl

    Daryl

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    If you can grow tomatoes, then you can grow anything in NENC. Not sure of that hardiness zone. *giggle* I have tried almost every method. I even went through a permaculture phase. Old School Compost works the best.
     
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  7. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1

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    I put out a garden every year. Manure is the single best item I've ever used to improve my garden. I also add compost too. I really like fall root crops and over winter them under ground. I also do a teepee setup for my tomatoes, three 8 ft. stakes hammered in the ground, tied together at top, then wrapped with string, I've had tomatoes grow all the way to the top. Don't add too much wood ash, it ain't good. If you work your manure and compost in some time in March or April you'll do fine.
     
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  8. Grizzly Adam

    Grizzly Adam Technical Administrator

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    Compost doesn't need to be mixed in early, it's just "fresh" dirt.
     
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  9. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1

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    Well Jack, I'd have to clarify, if compost is 'fresh' dirt, then I used the wrong term. I should have probably said organic matter. I really think that the leaf matter, grass clippings, food waste, saw dust, partially rotted bark/twigs, and whatever else is in my pile, when I get that stuff worked in it just improves water retention and the general soil characteristics all around, and I always work that stuff, and a pickup truck load of manure, into my little gardens every spring before planting.
     
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  10. Grizzly Adam

    Grizzly Adam Technical Administrator

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    Yeah, those are compostables. They will turn to a wonderful rich black dirt given time. Our gardens are all raised beds and are a combination of compost and a little sand to keep it light. Nothing else.
     
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  11. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1

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    Right on Jack, I really think anybody that's gonna do some gardening should really take the time and create some seriously good soil for things to grow in, it makes ALL the difference in the world for sure.

    Manure, compost, organic matter, some add other things, but these three are paramount.
     
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  12. Grizzly Adam

    Grizzly Adam Technical Administrator

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    We make our own compost, but it's not enough to sustain our garden. Luckily, one of the wood dumps we go to makes compost free for the taking. Will be heading out after about another 5 truck loads in the spring, we are adding two new 4x12 beds.
     
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  13. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017

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    Thanks for the replies lots of great advice. I have been seriously considering raised beds I have lots of pallets and have been thinking about using them for the beds. My soil here is pretty good its a soft sandy soil that up until 2 years ago was being actively used for farming. Im wondering about weed control though Ive been thinking about putting the weed block fabric down and then filling the boxes with topsoil, but that can get expensive so Im wondering if theres a better way to take care of weeds.
     
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  14. savemoney

    savemoney

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    Get in touch with your local extension sevice. Lots of helpful information there. Go to the local fairs and mingle around in the vegetable display area. You'll usually run into some folks more than happy to tell you how the champion vegetables were grown in your area. Have or test your soil. No since of dumping stuff in to balance it if you don't know what the conditions are. As to manure, if it isn't very well composted, it will be full of weed seeds. that will mean you need to mulch after the soil is warm.
    If you have moles, use hardware cloth (wire mesh) to form cages about the size of a small plant pot. Put the root ball of yout transplants in these. Your moles can't get to your plants through these. For cut worms, cut the bottom out of a disposable cup and plant in those. There are many other tricks. Want an early start. Consider using a hoop garden bed. Super cheap, easy way to have a protected and productive garden. Just google or youtube hoop gardens.
    Good luck
     
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  15. Grizzly Adam

    Grizzly Adam Technical Administrator

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    My parents use strips from old carpets to lay betwixt the rows, other people use cardboard. I avoid chemicals, but some people do a complete kill at the end of the growing season in preparation for next year.
     
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  16. Grizzly Adam

    Grizzly Adam Technical Administrator

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    Grab some soil samples, mix one with vinegar. If it foams, your soil is base. Add some distilled water to another sample so it is mud and add baking soda-- if this sample foams your soil is acidic.
     
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  17. savemoney

    savemoney

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    image.jpg Here is my first hoop garden, the plastic is easy to put up and Dow for venting
     
  18. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017

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    Thats a beutiful looking garden there savemoney:thumbs:
     
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  19. savemoney

    savemoney

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    image.jpg image.jpg
    These were taken two years ago. Last year wasn't so good. Gardening isn't always the same. Last year I was defeated by groundhogs after bragging about how I wasn't having a problem with them. :confused:
     
  20. mattjm1017

    mattjm1017

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    Now I want a tomato sandwich:drool: