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What I learned this year

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What I learned this year

Post  Cajun Cappy on Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:06 pm

I have been square foot gardening or my version of it for 16 years now.  Yall gonna be amazed but I learned a simple thing from a friend that was truly a Doh! moment.  Super simple brain dead thing.  Here it is.  When ya build trellises for ya boxes put them inside and not out side.  So stupidly simple.  I use rebar for vertices. and usually 4 inch square fencing for the trellis rebar is free for me and the fence panels can be had at any  store for very little.  Easily found in 4 ft wide pieces which is perfect for the side of ya box.  For years I have been cursing the rebar as it interferes with the mower and snarls the weed eater string.  A friend made the comment why not drive the rebar inside your boxes and and put the fencing on top of the frame.  now a smooth box easy to mow and weed eat by.

he also commented instead of spending money on round up for around the boxes just tilt the weed eater down and weed eat the now smooth edges to the ground.  

One visit as my friend walked around our jungle I picked up 2 simple clues that improve my gardening play time.
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  CitizenKate on Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:27 pm

Great idea, Cappy. The box where I'll be planting my cukes doesn't have much room around the outside of it, so this will definitely work better than driving the rebar down around the outside of the box.

I'd love to find some of that 4"x4" mesh fencing, but so far no luck. I'm probably just not using the right search terms. I see lots of 2x4 and 3x2, but no 4x4.

thinking

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Re: What I learned this year

Post  CitizenKate on Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:37 pm

Was looking at home improvement stores when I should have been shopping the farm supply stores.

Is this what you're talking about?

Feedlot panel at Tractor Supply Company
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  yolos on Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:00 pm

This one is a lot less expensive:
http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/feedlot-panel-cattle-16-ft-l-x-50-in-h?cm_vc=IOPDP1

This is the one I buy because I can curl it into a U shape and fit it in my SUV.  it takes a little bit of work to get it to stay flat after it has been curled a little.  It is 8 feet long and fits over my 8 foot long beds just perfect.  I stack one on the top of the other and get an 8 foot long by about 8 feet high trellis that will last for ever and is very sturdy and has large enough holes to get your hands easily thru.  
http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/ok-brand-handy-panel-8-ft-l-x-50-in-h?cm_vc=IOPDP1

I use 3/4 inch EMT on the inside of the box.  Works well except for one thing.  If you try to use hoops in the fall/winter, you have to take the EMT/rebar down.  If you put the rebar/EMT on the outside, then you only have to take the fence down and can leave the uprights in the ground and still use hoops over the bed.
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:23 pm

@yolos wrote:This is the one I buy because I can curl it into a U shape and fit it in my SUV.  it takes a little bit of work to get it to stay flat after it has been curled a little.  It is 8 feet long and fits over my 8 foot long beds just perfect.  I stack one on the top of the other and get an 8 foot long by about 8 feet high trellis that will last for ever and is very sturdy and has large enough holes to get your hands easily thru.  
http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/ok-brand-handy-panel-8-ft-l-x-50-in-h?cm_vc=IOPDP1
I was wondering how people got these home! I thought maybe a truck was the secret other 'tool' required for SFG and 'everyone else' had one...
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  yolos on Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:29 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:
@yolos wrote:This is the one I buy because I can curl it into a U shape and fit it in my SUV.  it takes a little bit of work to get it to stay flat after it has been curled a little.  It is 8 feet long and fits over my 8 foot long beds just perfect.  I stack one on the top of the other and get an 8 foot long by about 8 feet high trellis that will last for ever and is very sturdy and has large enough holes to get your hands easily thru.  
http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/ok-brand-handy-panel-8-ft-l-x-50-in-h?cm_vc=IOPDP1
I was wondering how people got these home! I thought maybe a truck was the secret other 'tool' required for SFG and 'everyone else' had one...
Yep, you need a truck for the 16 foot long ones and still have to curl them a little to get them to fit in most truck beds.  That is why I buy the 8 foot long ones and curl them as little as possible to get them in the back of my Ford Escape (a fairly small SUV).  I have thought about tying them on the top rack of the car but always chicken out.
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  Cajun Cappy on Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:11 pm

The one I use I get at lowes.  It is 4 ft wide and 6 ft tall and very cheap they have several different sizes but since I only trellis the 4 ft side this is great for me no cutting fits in the back of the suv.  3 rebars and some zip ties or tie wire ya in business.  I have moved all the rebar and fencing and fence post for the chicken wire doggy barrier to the inside of all boxes cept the big 12 ft garden box.   have reinstalled the chicken wire on several boxes but hadda go get another roll.  I put the rebar inside and the trellis on top of the frame and it works wonderful.  As I redo the chicken wire I aint gonna encase the tresses.  Another thing I learned is the chicken wire and cucs dont get along and several cucs grew in th wire and well it was a mess.
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  Cajun Cappy on Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:20 pm

I guess its where ya live I aint neva used loops but dont see the problem loop against the rebar and wrap the whole mess with plastic ya may have a small crack on the trellis ends but it would be narrow and no trouble I would think.  The trouble mowing and weed eating for me is a WIN!!
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  yolos on Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:09 pm

@Cajun Cappy wrote:I guess its where ya live I aint neva used loops but dont see the problem loop against the rebar and wrap the whole mess with plastic ya may have a small crack on the trellis ends but it would be narrow and no trouble I would think.  The trouble mowing and weed eating for me is a WIN!!
Thanks for your input Cappy.  But I have pine bark nuggets around all my beds and don't need to weed eat around the beds so I don't have the same problems you do.
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  Cajun Cappy on Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:05 pm

Yea das the joy of gardening all things aint for every body.
another tinig I always do when I build a new box I drive nails in 1 ft intervals and string out my grid with nylon twine.  It takes no room at all.  I can leave it there or pick it up once planted reuse the same string for many years.  I find it works much better than the wooden strips I see some of yall use and doesn't take up valuable inches.
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  sanderson on Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:41 pm

@yolos wrote:
@Cajun Cappy wrote:I guess its where ya live I aint neva used loops but dont see the problem loop against the rebar and wrap the whole mess with plastic ya may have a small crack on the trellis ends but it would be narrow and no trouble I would think.  The trouble mowing and weed eating for me is a WIN!!
Thanks for your input Cappy.  But I have pine bark nuggets around all my beds and don't need to weed eat around the beds so I don't have the same problems you do.
I have pine wood chips.

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Re: What I learned this year

Post  Cajun Cappy on Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:09 pm

Today it warmed up some so I continued moving the trellis rebar to the inside of the boxes.  Not that easy.  The rebar is sunk very deep and hard to pull up the Panels are atached with zip ties and tie wire etc.  I am taking a break from uprooting the rebar and had to take off my flannel short and drop down to a tee and my bibs.  Louisiana winter seems to have lasted all of 3 days and over for the froseeable future.  So its back to the yard to sweat some more.
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  Cajun Cappy on Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:45 am

Found out why the dang rebar was so hard to pull up, I had sunk them over 4 ft deep.  I hadda wiggle and jiggle and jet water in the hole then twirl them around with a pipe wrench then use the wrench to lift.  Right now it dont seem worth all the effort but come spring when the mower glides easily and dont bump stop back up and repeat and the weed eater can amke it around 6 boxes on one spool of string I'll be glad I did it.
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  countrynaturals on Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:49 am

What I learned is when you find something good, SAVE THE SEEDS! By pure dumb luck, I had wonderful seeds from asparagus beans and sugar snap peas. I didn't appreciate what I had and used them both up, thinking there were plenty more where those came from. WRONG! Whatever varieties I have now can't hold a candle to the ones that got away. Evil or Very Mad Definitely a very important lesson learned the hard way. Sad
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  CapeCoddess on Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:53 pm

I learned the hard way NOT to remove the netting from the greens box late in the season thinking the white butterfly is done. She's not done!!! grrrrr....
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  yolos on Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:20 am

@Cajun Cappy wrote:Found out why the dang rebar was so hard to pull up, I had sunk them over 4 ft deep.  I hadda wiggle and jiggle and jet water in the hole then twirl them around with a pipe wrench then use the wrench to lift.  Right now it dont seem worth all the effort but come spring when the mower glides easily and dont bump stop back up and repeat and the weed eater can amke it around 6 boxes on one spool of string I'll be glad I did it.
That is exactly what I had to do to get mine out.  They were only about 2 feet deep but we have the hard Georgia clay to contend with.  Jetted them with water.  The secret is the pipe wrench twirling them around.  That is the only thing that loosened them up.  Then I put the pipe wrench near the top of the rebar and hit the wrench in an upward motion with a hammer.  Eventually they broke free.
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  sanderson on Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:00 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:I learned the hard way NOT to remove the netting from the greens box late in the season thinking the white butterfly is done.  She's not done!!!  grrrrr....
I learned something related. When starting the winter green seedlings in the fall, do not procrastinate putting up the tulle.

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Re: What I learned this year

Post  Mellen on Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:29 am

I learned that I have a WHOLE lot to learn!
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  sanderson on Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:50 am

@Mellen wrote:I learned that I have a WHOLE lot to learn!
That was how I felt after the first season of gardening! This Forum was a life saver, gardening-wise.

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Re: What I learned this year

Post  Scorpio Rising on Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:08 pm

I learned that I really do not cook in my house during the summer at all.  Brick house with commercial gas stove/oven.   Gets too hot.  Therefore, growing stuff that requires cooking (pole beans) is a limited endeavor.  I will do them on my side burner on the gas grill, but not enough to consume what is being produced.  Resulting in waste.

Another thing I learned, is the end of the season peppers need to be processed or eaten ASAP.  Otherwise they will become compost.

Speaking of compost, I learned that anything like tomatoes, squash or potatoes thrown into the compost pile (Cold old school Rodale type) will sprout, I, having a soft heart for underdogs will allow them to grow....MISTAKE.  They eat up the nutrients, and you did not plant them therefore you really don't want them....and you won't eat them.  

And too many tomatoes and peppers together makes it impossible to get to anything.  Suckers, fruits, just too dense of big plants.  Need to mix it up!
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  countrynaturals on Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:56 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:I learned that I really do not cook in my house during the summer at all.  Brick house with commercial gas stove/oven.   Gets too hot.  Therefore, growing stuff that requires cooking (pole beans) is a limited endeavor.  I will do them on my side burner on the gas grill, but not enough to consume what is being produced.  Resulting in waste.
We don't cook in the summer, either, but I have an old Sunbeam electric steamer that I use in my outdoor laundry room for steaming veggies and making zucchini bread even when the temps are in triple-digits. Take that, Mother Nature! Twisted Evil
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  Scorpio Rising on Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:33 pm

@countrynaturals wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:I learned that I really do not cook in my house during the summer at all.  Brick house with commercial gas stove/oven.   Gets too hot.  Therefore, growing stuff that requires cooking (pole beans) is a limited endeavor.  I will do them on my side burner on the gas grill, but not enough to consume what is being produced.  Resulting in waste.
We don't cook in the summer, either, but I have an old Sunbeam electric steamer that I use in my outdoor laundry room for steaming veggies and making zucchini bread even when the temps are in triple-digits. Take that, Mother Nature! Twisted Evil
Love it!  Summer kitchens used to be the norm in the late 1860s to early 1900s.  Good thinking.  Then came air conditioning, but mine is underpowered compared to my stove...great idea!
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  countrynaturals on Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:47 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote:
@Scorpio Rising wrote:I learned that I really do not cook in my house during the summer at all.  Brick house with commercial gas stove/oven.   Gets too hot.  Therefore, growing stuff that requires cooking (pole beans) is a limited endeavor.  I will do them on my side burner on the gas grill, but not enough to consume what is being produced.  Resulting in waste.
We don't cook in the summer, either, but I have an old Sunbeam electric steamer that I use in my outdoor laundry room for steaming veggies and making zucchini bread even when the temps are in triple-digits. Take that, Mother Nature! Twisted Evil
Love it!  Summer kitchens used to be the norm in the late 1860s to early 1900s.  Good thinking.  Then came air conditioning, but mine is underpowered compared to my stove...great idea!
I LOVE IT! I'd much rather call it a "summer kitchen" than an outdoor laundry room.
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Re: What I learned this year

Post  sanderson on Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:29 am

I don't cook during the hot summer (Ken makes salads and fruit plates), but I will blanch for a minute or 2 and freeze for winter eating. Then, come cold winter, when it's my turn to fix dinner, wella, proportion-sized bags of quick veggies.

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Re: What I learned this year

Post  MrBooker on Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:44 am

I learned that "Old man winter" can't bully me anymore. Remember as a child, once you stood up to the bully, they would leave you alone? I've always had fall gardens but was intimidated by old man winter. I found out, he ain't so tuff.
    He puts a good fight but he's beatable. 

                        PREPARING FOR BATTLE.
    
It's been noted, some say life breaks about even for everyone. I agree.  ICE. "Rich folks get it in the summer and poor folks get it in the winter".
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