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Greenbeards Grove 2018

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Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  Greenbeard on 5/1/2018, 2:50 am

Hello Everyone! Welcome to my gardening blog.   Its basically the continuation of last years story over here because its no longer a simple plan but a lifestyle. Smile  http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t21344p125-bryan-greenbeard-of-minnesota-s-2017-plans#279386 If you wanna see how i built it or what i did in the 2017 season..  If not no worries Smile

To start things out ill show you a somewhat aerial view of the beds i built last year. 
In the East (bottom of this view) you can see my early lettuce getting used to being outdoors, that was its 3rd or 4th afternoon outside..

What you see here is 3 @ 3' x 3' beds in a row heading west to the gate thats 4' wide.   then on the west of the gate is the L shaped beds also made up of 5 @ 3'x3' which gives me a total of 72 squares here.   The height is such that both my girlfriends daughter in a wheelchair, and myself with a bad back can reach into the center of any bed from any side without pain. MM goes down 2 horizontal boards. assorted fill to that should over the decade this structure lasts turn into a good compost blend on its own fills up the first 3 boards worth of the beds. (big logs alot of hemp, char, dryed grass, some perlite, tiny bit of sand.. and a few dozen amethyst crystals ive gathered over the years to soak up any negativity from the beds or around them.. )

The chicken wire protection system is in the garage atm, as no need without anything growing but one chick that survived the winter that the native wildlife does not like the taste of.   I built them this way to serve as a functional fence for the back yard as this small section is the only bit not yet fenced in and my sisters dog was living with me for a bit and i did not want her to have to be chained as the yard is decent sized.  


So for Christmas this year my cousin gave me a packet of tomato seeds, of a type that will grow 4-6' and yeild 7# fruits;
As well as a package of 6 giant Wallace pumpkin that you can see the seed size below.



 I got excited 2 months ago and on the first of march started the seeds for tomato's, as well as some potatoes, some pepper seeds and the early lettuce.   a couple weeks ago i started the pumpkin seeds (3/6 have sprouted so far)
I picked up some 5 grow lights from home depot in the winter when they were on sale for the price that 2 are currently selling for. 
I picked up from chewy.com the largest pet crate tray liner, as its waterproof and by measurements can hold 7-8 flats of seedlings or sproutlings or plants for that matter to put everything onto.
I built a rig with some of the extra wood left from building the beds or plant protection system. to raise the lights as the tomatoes have twice touched the lights.. and its still in the low 40s so too cold at night for anything to sleep outside yet.. they are used to 72* in the kitchen before sunlight or growlight hits them.  

In the middle are a couple of the potatoes and the pumpkins between the tomatoes.


on the kitchen table ive got the following growing.
54 Tomatoes 2" pots, 12 more in 2 six packs just bout ready to get moved to the bigger pots.
3 pumpkin's growing in the 2" pots.
11 assorted peppers from last years garden in 2" pots.
6 beats in 6packs ready to get moved.
34 heads of early lettuice, one of moms neighbors wanted a dozen to put in 3 pots at her place so shes the only ones not here.
41 stalks of parsley in assorted 6 packs, only 1 six pack is ready for a bigger container.
4 5 gallon bucks containing 3 seed potatoes that grew a foot in 2' pots before i transfered them to the buckets. (one of the neighbors gave me over the winter from her garden.. she grows them for the pretty flowers, no clue anything about them other then they are pretty and bigger then the baby ones i grew last year.)

By my count that means if i grow all this that ive already started.. Ill need alot of squares..   
+54 for the tomatoes as they grow 4-6' tall, so min 1 each.  solved this by planning bucket lines for them.  thats 6 lines of 9 buckets.
+12 for the pumpkins.. as they will be 400# if i do a bad job..  they come from a state champion sized one.. so at least 2 each  debating using a 3x3 for them and filling it with henschicks to breed them as they got along great last season, so potentually 27 for 3 pumpkins.
+1 for beats
+11 for peppers
+34 for lettuce as it will have a head
+41 for the parsley.. 
= 81 more squares then i have. 

So i decided id try out 5 gal bucket gardening as ive some friends that rent and cant build beds so are curious how it works so im testing for them and myself to see if its easier on the back of if i wanna expand my beds to a larger scale.  I am giving some of the plants out.. but even giving half away its still 9 more then i have squares for.  

So ive got the potatoes in them and will be doing the same with some of the tomatoes.. specially as the toms will be 4-6' tall and my beds are already waist high on me.

As you can see the potatoes are confused if they wanna be outside or under the grow lights.   very very soon they can go outside.  i promised them.

This is what ive been using for my MM  The wheelbarrel holds 3 cu feet flush with top so if im mixing in there.
The Green/White Peat Moss is 3 CU feet. so its 1/3 a bag or  or two full bags if mixing on the patio.
The red/yellow Vermiculite is 2 cu feet, so its either half a bag or 3 full ones.
The green with blue label bag of soil is 1.5 CU feet
The white cow manure bags are 1/2 cu ft or 40#
The green ReallyGoodCompost is 1 cu foot>     So in the barrel its a bag of the cow, 1/3 the blue bag and 1/2 the rgc bag.   on the ground i mix 2 blue, 6 cow, 3 green into the MM.
* I do use hemp chips in place of the peat sometimes.  works just as well as last year my tomatoes loved it.





I really like the feel of the dirt in the blue bag, its got a much better feel to it then any other bagged soil ive played with in a few years.

This is how i was gardening on the 15th of April this year. (2 weeks and a day before that first picture in this thread was taken from that garage behind me.)
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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  Greenbeard on 5/1/2018, 3:03 am


Above you can see my kitchen table back in April. Below you can see one of the Potatoes on the 8th of April. and an over view of the tomatoes.

Next you can see how the tomatoes looked about 3 weeks ago.

Next you can see back in March on the 9th how i started this off this year.. this was about a week and half as i started everything march 1st.

This is the light i picked up.   I went in last week for some vermiculite and the price was 42 bucks.. i got mine for 15 and change a piece last winter... each less then the cost of a bag of vermiculite.


The reason i used store bought compost is my compost bin was still frozen and i was chomping at the bit to fill them. Smile
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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  AtlantaMarie on 5/1/2018, 8:17 am

Looks really good, Bryan! Sounds like you AND your friends are going to have a lot of fun with this!

One comment on the amethyst - don't be surprised if it fades on you. It's a very strange rock. Sunlight, I guess, kind of opens up it's pores & allows the color to escape. Putting it back in shadow sometimes brings the color back, but sometimes not...

And you might consider rose quartz & hematite... :-)
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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  Greenbeard on 5/1/2018, 4:19 pm

There is already a three circles, one each of hematite and both quartz and rose that i charged for a score of moons then burred just inside my property borders to ward things off that are untoward. garden grows within that weave already.  As i have an open door policy if i know ya.. and all the roaming spirits are welcome to stop by and enjoy the bells and lights at night.. just long as they dun cause a problem for anyone still living.   I even have a chair just for visiting ghosts.   One does never know for sure what happens.  If the case is that folks do hang around a bit, well id like that portion of my family and friends and loved ones to feel welcome here Very Happy

The amythest i spoke off is in a grid pattern on the natural ground level under the beds and all the fill themselves. with quartz also burried within, though warding the sides of the beds.    I have a bunch of garden gnomes, and some old toys too that stand guard within the beds.... and do use some of my other crystals if things are in need of healing or an exta umph in growth.. 

GF and me are working on a fairy garden.. but stills still debating the size house for the first home..
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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  sanderson on 5/4/2018, 5:34 pm

You have been busy. I just love the photo of you in the snow!!!

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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  Greenbeard on 5/7/2018, 10:07 pm

Thanks!  Have been kinda busy out here.. Busted my tail today getting a few things done.

To start my day i tested out the underground sprinkler system, works fine after the winter.. no leaks gets all of the yard wet, so works great!
Then i went to the front of the yard to check on the Hasta's that mom brought over yesterday.. She showed up with her whole jeep full of Hasta's, She gave me enough to make this line of them.   Technically they are square feet gardening as they are in mel's mix and the ditch that i dug for them with a friends help was a foot wide.   They are covered with hemp chips to protect the soil and to look at better then the dirt mounds they are in.



After that was taken care of and looking nice I turned my attention to the raised beds. Planted a few peppers where something got some of the lettuce that id planted last week. and put a barrier of shish-kob skewers into the ground as a sorta palisade wall.   So far 5 of the beds have things in them.

Bed 1


Bed 2


Bed 3


Bed 4


Bed 5



Then I decided to get my buckets all in a row, kind alike ducks but 5 gal buckets full of mels mix and either tomatoes or potatoes.
To do that i had to empty out beds 6, 7 and 8, almost bare as you can see.


Then of course i had to refill the beds so i could plant stuff there in future or use for more.. buckets as ive got at least another 9 here i gotta fill.. and still have a couple score of tomatoes in the house.

This is what the beds look like a tad bit ago.






The Potatoes are in the 5 black buckets near the house.  The Tomatoes are in all the other buckets.


To rig the buckets i took 3" round saw, cut a hole in bottom of bucket using it.  put a hydroponic's net cup that was also 3" inside of it.   Then took those buckets by the house and stuck them into a house gutter with a 2x4 on either side of it.. so i just have to fill the gutter to water them.  The buckets in the middle of the patio will get their gutter line also, i just went with 1 gutter first to see if it works, the middle ones are doubled up so the bottom bucket catches water overflow.

Halfway down uploading a couple youtube videos as well. Will share them in a followup post.

All in all my most productive day yet this season.
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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  Greenbeard on 5/7/2018, 10:16 pm

Video 1 is in the middle of the day as i took a break after filling the buckets.



Video 2 is at the end of the workday.
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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  Greenbeard on 5/8/2018, 2:57 pm

Ive got a couple of a lily's growing in the yard.   First one was here when i moved in.  Something took a nibble out of it.


This one my girlfriend picked up last year from a random yard sale.




Last season i started a raspberry plant in my raised bed next to a couple of pepper plants and pumpkin vines; my father died on the 4th of October last fall, about the time that i should have cleaned out the beds.  So i was late in transplanting it to the ground under the spruce, snow fell later the day i planted it in a 1' cube of mel's mix. 

I covered the base with half a foot of hemp chips in december when i realized i should have when i planted it.  I was scared that it was going to die also, so ive put off going over to look at it until today.

Im very happy to say that the 'Felsig Raspberry's ' are very hardy for this region.  They are an unknown strain my girlfriend pick up last summer from a lady.. label said "raspberry - shade "  so ive named them after the gaming handle my dad used.  It has also, as far as i can tell shot up some shoots, so its not just surviving but thriving.






I do have to tighten things up and add squares out here and in the beds, ran out of blue twine and the pink doesnt really show up too well so im looking for a more visible one.. ive more around here somewhere.  may lash twigs together and make the square that way to start the fey garden around the raspberry's base..
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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  Turan on 5/8/2018, 8:59 pm

I hope you get a couple first fruits from the Felsig Raspberry and can report what they taste like.  Any garden around hte raspberries will be well protected  Smile

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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  Greenbeard on 5/10/2018, 9:27 pm

Thanks Turan, i sure hope so.. if not this season then for sure next.

Today i got some gutters to make three more lines here and 2 more lines at moms, as well as umm 40 5gal buckets.  Still not enough buckets for all the tomatoes i have.   They will be too big to do the sfg method in beds, so im doing it in buckets.. as i need a deeper-stronger root ball then 6".   

Its just hard to imagine the tomato plants not blowing over in the beds with only 6" of roots.
They are going to be 6' -10' tall.
So the SFG 6" Beds are only 8% - 5% of their average heights.

So i improvised and the buckets are the best that i came up with..



Heres a top view from the other garage of how things look at this pause point.


I finally had my camera when mr neighborhood buck wandered up the tracks for his afternoon snack.



Compost bins need to be shifted.. moved some char over today also.


Happy Day ya all Very Happy
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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  SQWIB on 5/11/2018, 7:55 am

Great read, I really enjoyed your post. Love your compost setup.
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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  trolleydriver on 5/11/2018, 8:45 am

@Greenbeard wrote:...

Its just hard to imagine the tomato plants not blowing over in the beds with only 6" of roots.
They are going to be 6' -10' tall.
So the SFG 6" Beds are only 8% - 5% of their average heights.

...

Oh ye of little faith.  Very Happy

I think it has been proven a zillion times that tomatoes do just fine in SFG beds with 6 inches of MM, especially if they are trellised.

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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  Turan on 5/11/2018, 12:43 pm

Several people here have planted their tomatoes in buckets in order to free up their bed space.  I did it once, the trick was to make sure the bucket drains well enough to not have a swamp develop in the bottom.
If you are growing indeterminates, how do you figure to trellis them?

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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  Greenbeard on 5/11/2018, 3:23 pm

I did try to account for the drainage.

The buckets all have 3" holes in bottom.

In the bottom i placed a 3" hydroponic net cup inside. 

The filled the cup with potting soil, as it has a tad bit of clay in it.. to act kinda as a wick to draw the water to the roots, til they grow out of the net cups.

Put a scoop of mel mix in the bottom.

Then planted the tomatoes, after removing just the leaves that will be "underground" i filled with mm. 

The buckets w net cups are then placed into the rain gutter trough system.  Which is a 10' rain gutter with 2x4's alone either side to make it strong enough to stay upright with the weight.

I intend to fill with water for a couple hours a day a few times a day then drain the remainder as i live near a few lakes and dun want mosquitoes to move in.

Im not sure if they are Indeterminates or not..  asked cousin for contact info from the seed company as i forgot to write that down.. or take a clear picture of the package.  but alot of pruning and shaping.. and some bamboo rods.  The trough system could easily be modified to add a trellis on one entire side of it.  Then i would need to move them and align them a different direction.  I hadnt got that far.. Thanks for making me think of that.. last year i just did alot of pruning and used the a couple bamboo rods and landscaping green "tape" for all my tomatoes.   The baby tomatoes i let grow over the side of the chickenwire fence halfway to the ground and kept somewhat thinned.
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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  Turan on 5/11/2018, 3:55 pm

I think Kay Walshevik used a cattle panel arch with buckets along each edge.  Others have built PVC pipe trellis like a swing set with strings for each plant, sanderson just made one version.  Another idea is a post like your bamboo rods.  That last is more easily blown over or over whelmed, if I recall correctly.

I see all your buckets and I imagine a wonderful tomato forest. 

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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  SQWIB on 5/11/2018, 4:48 pm

Greenbeard, for the gutter you can hook up a watering value for auto fill, and for the mosquitoes, you can fill the gutters with pea gravel above the fill line.
Your net cups will sit in the gravel, does that make sense?
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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  Greenbeard on 5/11/2018, 7:51 pm

SQWIB - sorry i didnt see your other post .  Glad you enjoyed that style.  I figured out this year how to add photos in the middle of the post, not just in a bulk upload.  Kinda makes more sense to add photos as talking about things to me then at the end or beginning or followup post.

Will look into the watering valve, plan is eventually rain gutter to supply water to the lines.. if they work for me this season.  I will try the gravel though. it does make sense.  Thanks.


Trolleydriver - Yes little faith.  I have 72 squares in the raised beds.. i have 68 viable tomato plants. All that woulda been in the beds woulda been tomatoes that then start at 3' tall and will be 12' from ground. very much fearful of it falling over.   these will be twice the size my tom's were last season, at least. I would have no room for anything else in the beds.  IF the tomatoes were normal.. not state championship level for size would have no issue using the beds again for them.. worked great last year for the 9 i had.  

I also had 40 heads of lettuce to go into the beds.   More of a cost factor.. and size tipping the scale, as woulda needed to double my bed numbers.  Buckets were cheaper and will last for a few season.  Im not sure if i want to build  greenhouse or build more beds in the yard beyond the current beds (gets full sun) and probally where ill move the tomato lines to.. as gf's daughter in wheelchair cant get past them atm.. and thats priority over food.

Turan - Most of the normal toms last year needed 2 of the bamboo rods or by the end of season.. branches from the woods across the tracks out back i debarked and firehardened.   I may look into the pcv trellis system as i have ALOT of pvc pipes from 1/2" to 2" in my garage.   Its going to be a forest of tomato's one way or another Smile   Once i know the average size of these tomatoes, ill be able to figure something out.  Until then i could go crazy guessing or debating.. may very well be they are determinate and will be a tad easier to deal with... but a fun challenge anyway Smile
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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  Turan on 5/12/2018, 12:25 pm

People have been raising all types of tomatoes by letting them sprawl since forever. It takes more space and is messy, more fruit is likely to be wasted, but it certainly works.  But you may well find that you need to move those buckets out of the patio and into a sheltered area of the lawn.  Leave one or two on the patio for easy picking/snacking. 

I always enjoy your pictures.

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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  Greenbeard on 5/12/2018, 8:07 pm

Features
Produces large red meaty tomatoes usually weighing 1-3 pounds, but famously reaching up to 7 pounds
Good for slicing, but use of this tomato may result in jealous neighbors or friends and family arriving unannounced for dinner
Indeterminate
Crack resistant
Grows 4-6 feet tall, space about 2 feet apart. Plant in full sun just below soil surface after threat of frost is gone and keep soil moist until seedling is established. Matures in about 80 days and as the tomatoes are quite large it will ease the weight burden on the plant if tomatoes are picked regularly.


Ok so not as big as he thought they were going to get.. i could get away with planting them in a few of the squares.. but i already have the buckets..Smile
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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  Greenbeard on 5/21/2018, 5:47 pm

11 days from the last pictures.   Had the city sewer backup into moms basement.. most of the basement had cat 3/black water 2-3" deep.  So alot of things here have been untended since the day before mother day, as ive been over there.

Ive taken stock of the beds and watering troughs were good enough to keep everything growing in buckets alive..  Except for a few that i forgot to harden off before taking them outside.  Lesson Learned..

Yesterday went to menards with mom to pick up some wood chips for her and some tomatoe cages and bamboo poles for the gardens at both our places.

I'll start with the bucket view first.  As you can see significant growth, enough that i can top most of the buckets with mm and seal the tops under the hemp chips.  There was one loss in line 2 and 2 losses in line 3  (from the house being line 1 with no losses) 



Next up you can see happens when you forget to harden off plants to sunlight.  They get sunburned.  Even when they are growing under a series of growth lights, make sure to harden them off not just to the weather temperature but to sunlight as well. 

In this picture you can see 5 tomato plants.  Left one is struggling, next two are unfortunately dead from my misscare.  I think the two on the right will pull through.  The three are are getting alot of extra attention and love.   Will keep you updated.




These are the five buckets of Potatoes that my neighbor gave me.  she grows them for them pretty flowers, not the potatoes themselves.. 
So it will be a surprise what they will look like or yield. Smile


Below you can see that the bucket on the left above is very happy where its at. One of its stalks looks a tad dry.. but has new growth upon it.. and the soil is as it should be.. So will see how she grows.



Now we will walk into the back yard and behind the beds for a moment to take a peak at the pumpkins. 

 
This first one that sprouted right side up is all nice and fuzzy with what appear to be flowers already.. its the closest to the camera above.


The second one also has what very much looks like a flower, and is the one that sprouted upside down!  Now these flowers are much much closer then any of the flowers were last season for jack be quick, or jack be little.. and these are to be GIANT multihundred pounders..  Hope that they fine out soon as they have plenty of room to grow.


Now we will wander back into the raised beds to take a looksee what is growing where and how it looks right now.  Each bed is 9 squares. 3x3

Ill start from the garage as i usually do when i wander about the grove.

In the top row we have 2 Early Lettuce and 1 Hungarian pepper (from last years harvest)
In the middle row we have Jalapeno pepper, Early Lettuce, Hungarian Pepper.
In the bottom row we have 3 more Hungarian Pepper.


In Box 2
Row 1 has 2 early lettuce and 1 Jalapeno Pepper.
Row 2 has Parsley, 2 Marigolds, 1 Jalapeno Pepper.
Row 3 has Jalapeno Pepper, Early Lettuce, Hungarian Pepper


In Box 3 we have
Row 1 3 Early Lettuce
Row 2 1 Jalapeno Pepper, 2 marigolds, 1 Parsley
Row 3 1 Jalapeno Pepper, 2 Early Lettuce


Across the walkway we have the next 5 boxes..

Box 4 
Row 1  1 Purple Beauty Sweet Black Pepper, 1 Early Lettuce, 1 Sweet Black Pepper
Row 2  3 Early Lettuce
Row 3  3 Early Lettuce


Box 5 
Row 1 3 Black Peppers
Row 2 2 Beats, 1 Early Lettuce
Row 3 1 Black Pepper, 1 Beat, 1 Early Lettuce


Box 6 (marigolds will be split to 1 per box in the central spot as things are harvested)
Row 1 Pumpkin, 4 marigolds
Row 2 Vacant, 3 Marigolds
Row 3 Pumpkin, 2 Marigolds, 1 Black Pepper


Next up we are going to wander through whats growing in the ground of all places Smile

Outside the gaming room last summer dad and i planted some cat mint that mom picked up, to ward off sketters.. they look and smell pretty and appear to work.. of course it could be the bug attractor bucket trap that is located above them.  I think a combination of the both is what works.


Now we wander over to take a looksee at the Raspberries. You can see a bunch of new sprouts jumping up.. its very much happy and alive over here.


This is growing where i planted something my aunt gave me last summer. but i am not sure what it is.. shes on her way over here now so ill ask her and edit. Smile


This next one that i isolated looked pretty, not sure what it is either.. it grew with zero help from me.


This is my too do still project, needs to be cleaned out and over some years plant berries that will tolerate being under the spruces and "pine tree's as most call them"  In the meanwhile I am hoping for enough assorted wildflowers (or weeds as some call them) to bring in the pollinators until what ive got planted above starts to flower, so they get used to coming here this season.


I've got some Soloman's Seal that mom gifted me last summer. It surprised me this year. never before have i tended it.  The stalks were dead so i thought it was a goner.   Nope it grows new stalks as you can see in the next photos they are doing just fine!  As you can see the wildflower patch behind them is doing good.   I havnt seen the thistle yet.. but im hoping and praying it survived the winter.




Now for laughs.. I read people have cat problems in their gardens and raised beds.    So in the back by I dropped a pallet and a bunch of sand bags beside some catnip that was the only thing i cultivated over here in year 1 before i came to these forums.. as an offering to the wild feral cats that appear to take over beds filled with mm. Smile   



(This is my 3rd may homesteading this place..   i know its not meant literally anymore, but im taking it that way.)
To keep things straight pepper wise, i put the Jalapano's on the side with the hungarian peppers and put the sweet black peppers on the other side so i did not get hungarian and sweet  black peppers mixed up when talking about them.. I also used longer bamboo rods for the hungarian to grow against to keep them seperated.. as some of the hungarian seeds look like normal pepper plants, they have not turned purple in the leaves yet.

Thanks for taking the time to look through this post and see how the garden has been growing, sorry having been more active on others threads with posting.
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Greenbeard

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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  countrynaturals on 5/22/2018, 1:12 pm

Good job, GB!  Cool I'm starting to get jealous. Every ounce of energy I can muster goes into the DIY projects for the house next door. There's nothing left for my poor, neglected gardens.  Sad
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countrynaturals

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Re: Greenbeards Grove 2018

Post  sanderson on 5/23/2018, 1:29 am

You have good to be a happy gardener.  It is looking good.

PS I scrolled past that photo of you in the snow. I love it. A true gardener!

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