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First SFG - actually first any kind of garden

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First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Empty First SFG - actually first any kind of garden

Post  marc-in-pa on 6/3/2010, 12:11 am

My wife has mused about starting a veggie garden for a while and so it became her mother's day gift this year. We back up to woods and have all kinds of wildlife... including lots of deer and bunnies. So veggie protection is important.

Here's my makeshift design... started with 2 boxes that are 3 feet x 9 feet.

First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0716

Laid down fencing, for burrowing critters, and newspaper under each bed. Fenced in the boxes. The path in the middle is wide enough for a wheel barrow and mower to get in and out easily (but I may lay down some pavers or rocks or something at some point to avoid mowing the access path in the future). Built my first gate. Filled in with Mel's mix.

First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0810

Trying our hand at Tomatoes (beefsteak and cherry), Zuccini, Yellow Squash, Lettuce (Romaine, Buttercrunch, Boston), Corn, Sugar Snap Peas, Strawberries, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and a Pepper Plant. We may have planted broccoli a bit late in the season here in Pittsburgh, PA, but we'll see what happens. We have the strawberries in a corner with empty squares around them so they can spread out a little. Learned from this site to plant tall plants in the north and scaled down from there.

First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0811
First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0812

Made a trellis for the peas out of branches from a dead tree in the back.

First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0813

It's been a blast to build. The pics above are about a week old and it's truly amazing how a garden can change in that time.

I have a feeling that we'll need all the help we can get! So glad that I found this forum... what a resource and community!
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Post  Momma Pajama on 6/3/2010, 12:44 am

Hi Marc!
Excellent choice of mom's day gifts!! Mine are always garden related: my boys know me!I love you

The strawberr!ies will spread! I bought one last year, and now have 10! One thing I've heard though is that cutting off the runners will allow the plant to be stronger and produce more berries per plant. So now that I have 10, I am going to cut off the runners this year.

Great trellis. I made one with the bamboo that my neighbor was cutting down and was going to trash! Shocked
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Post  marc-in-pa on 6/3/2010, 2:51 pm

Thanks Mamma Pajama. Love your nickname! The song it's from makes me think of our impending journey with this garden... 'I'm on my way, don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way'. Great Simon and Garfunkel tune.
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Post  Theresa on 6/3/2010, 4:43 pm

That is just SUPER!!! I love the critter fence built right from the boxes! First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Icon_cheers A wonderful Mother's Day present for sure!
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Post  Megan on 6/3/2010, 6:01 pm

Really nice. Love that trellis, too!
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First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Empty updated pics

Post  marc-in-pa on 6/3/2010, 8:17 pm

Thanks Megan and Theresa! Here are some updated shots of the beds... 9 days from the shots above.
First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0814
First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0815

Funny that I was worried that leaving a box and a half for each zucchini was going to be to much room! First strawberries are beginning to get some color in them.
First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0817

Romaine is looking pretty good so far...
First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0819
First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0818
Question... Should I be worried about the silvering of the leaves I'm getting on my zucchini and yellow squash? Below is a close up.
First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0816
Thanks for any advice!
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Post  Megan on 6/3/2010, 8:22 pm

That's a normal marking, mine are doing it too. And regarding space for squash... those vines can get humongous! Smile Once yours get going I doubt you will be mowing in there.
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Post  timwardell on 6/3/2010, 9:20 pm

Great set up Marc! Thanks for posting the pics. Love how you have it all fenced in and the branch trellis is very cool. Very Happy
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Post  Theresa on 6/4/2010, 11:19 pm

WOW what a difference in just a little over a week! I love those flower boxes on the outside too! GREAT Job! Keep posting updates I love seeing how it all changes.
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Post  Jola on 6/4/2010, 11:59 pm

Are you guys sure that these "markings" on the zucchini and squash are not powdery mildew?
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Post  quiltbea on 6/5/2010, 12:05 am

You've got a great critter-proof garden.
It doen't take many sunshiny days to make a big difference in the crops.
It looks like yours are doing just fine.
Enjoy.
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Post  Megan on 6/5/2010, 7:48 am

@Jola wrote:Are you guys sure that these "markings" on the zucchini and squash are not powdery mildew?

I'm sure. It is pigmentation, not a mildew.

Here is a close-up of my new avatar (which I wish I knew how to re-size!) The first leaves don't have it, but the mature leaves do.

First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Photo-719639

First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Photo-765254
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Post  AtlantaAnn on 6/5/2010, 9:58 am

your boxes & veggies look great. if you think it was a blast building the boxes...just wait First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Icon_biggrin.

if the silver on your leaves is powdery and wipes off...you may have a mildew problem. otherwise, i think it's normal. i get the same markings and I'm already plucking and eating zucchini.

as for the spread of a zucchini plant...it can easily take-up a minimum of 4-6 12"x12" squares...the stems & leaves are a beast First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Icon_evil and can overshadow everything in it's path. i found a forgotten okra plant among mine last week...but i admit to not following directions to the letter. i just get soooo excited at planting time... First SFG - actually first any kind of garden 53366 and think i'll build individual boxes for them next year.

happy sfg'ing!
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First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Empty Mine too!

Post  jenjehle on 6/5/2010, 10:48 am

@Jola wrote:Are you guys sure that these "markings" on the zucchini and squash are not powdery mildew?

Mine have it too! And from what I remember, every one of my zucc plants have had it. Totally normal.

When some of my plants last year got PM it was a visible "powder" on the leaves. If you shake the leaf, it fluffs off and onto surrounding plants. That's how it spreads, I believe. And my leaves got somewhat dry and "crunchy" too.



HTH!
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First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Empty Thanks!

Post  marc-in-pa on 6/5/2010, 5:41 pm

This is like an online version of the TV show House. It's not powdery and doesn't come off, so I think I'm in the clear. Thanks so much for the diagnosis everyone!

Megan, for resizing images you can do this after selecting the 'host and image' icon thingy when composing a message. There is a drop down box that says 'Resize image'. I've been using 640 px, but there are options for bigger or smaller.

I did not plan for the zucc plants spreading so much. Trellising sounds like the way to go. I think I see more bed building in my future.

SFG should come with an addiction warning!
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Post  Megan on 6/5/2010, 6:22 pm

@marc-in-pa wrote:
Megan, for resizing images you can do this after selecting the 'host and image' icon thingy when composing a message. There is a drop down box that says 'Resize image'. I've been using 640 px, but there are options for bigger or smaller.

I did not plan for the zucc plants spreading so much. Trellising sounds like the way to go. I think I see more bed building in my future.

SFG should come with an addiction warning!

Hm... I am linking from my Picasa photos, so I don't get that option. But I tried another picture in landscape and it seems to work better, so thanks!

All squash plants can get humongous. The last time I planted some, I had two plants and they each trailed about 20 feet across my lawn. I am going to try at least partially trellising my two plants this year, though from what I've read here it is not the easiest thing to do with squash. I am doing a Three Sisters planting so there is some room for them to duke it out around the corn, though! Shocked

And yes, it may be prophetic, but I think I see more SFGs in your future, too! (Just pray all that zucchini doesn't knock down the fence for you! Wink )
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Post  johnfromfl on 6/5/2010, 6:23 pm

Marc: Great looking garden. Good luck with your harvest. Looks like you'll have a great time with the low maintained SFG. Love the pix. And yes SFG is addictive.
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Post  milaneyjane on 6/6/2010, 1:36 am

Gorgeous garden. And I love love love the pea trellis!!!
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Post  jinx on 6/7/2010, 8:24 pm

I love it! So glad I'm not the only one who admits it. The smell and feel of the dirt. The excitement of seeing something growing. Can't wait to add the taste of the fresh veges on the table and the feeling of accomplishment of feeding my family with something I grew.
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Post  MsMinchin on 6/8/2010, 11:00 pm

I loooove the way you built the fence into the box. That is so much easier than building a fence around it and it looks so cozy inside. Our boxes are 4 ft deep so I need to get at them from all sides, but we need a fence and this gives me some ideas.

Great job!
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First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Empty fence around boxes

Post  marc-in-pa on 6/9/2010, 7:59 pm

Using the boxes gives the fence posts some extra support than if I just sunk them in the ground and it reduces the overall footprint. I do wonder if deer will try and nibble the greenery that grows up to the fence...we will see!

Next year, I think I'll open up the back opposite the gate and build some more boxes and fence that area in. I have an idea also to make the fencing in panels that hook onto a top rail so that they are temporarily removable. This way the garden can be accessed from both sides. It's a little difficult reaching the squares up against the fence as it now.

Thanks for your kind words!
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First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Empty handmade trellis

Post  llang43 on 6/16/2010, 8:15 am

I love that twig and stick trellis you made. That is adorable. I want one! lol It's perfect for peas, beans, whatever. You did an awesome job with your gate and everything. Good for you. First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Icon_lol
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First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Empty Updated pics - June 15

Post  marc-in-pa on 6/16/2010, 2:46 pm

Thanks so much llang! The trellis was not that hard to build. I don't know what kind of tree it was that tumbled over, but it provided great wood. It has a core that's super strong but slightly bendy. Where I could, I used the Y created from branches to support the cross branches and used a screw in other places to wrap wire around. The box and the post for the fence made for easy places to secure it.

I'm training the snap peas to grow up it. When I planted the peas, I thought they would take off based upon some pictures I saw from other gardens. Relative to other veggies in my garden, they have been a bit slow in development. They started flowering last week. Here's a pic:

First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0910

Zuchini has been going gangbusters.

First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0911

It is crowding the broccoli and cauliflower. I have a couple of questions...

Would you selectively remove some of the Zuchini leaves, now larger than a human head, to allow other surrounding veggies some sun?

In regard to broc and cauliflower, if I'm not seeing any heads forming do you think that they will? In poking around, there was a post that said that they may begin to form in late June in my region.

Some other shots:
First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0912
First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0913
First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0914
First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0915
First SFG - actually first any kind of garden Img_0916
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Post  Megan on 6/16/2010, 6:42 pm

@marc-in-pa wrote:When I planted the peas, I thought they would take off based upon some pictures I saw from other gardens. Relative to other veggies in my garden, they have been a bit slow in development. They started flowering last week.

Zuchini has been going gangbusters.

It is crowding the broccoli and cauliflower. I have a couple of questions...

Would you selectively remove some of the Zuchini leaves, now larger than a human head, to allow other surrounding veggies some sun?

Your peas are just a little bigger than mine... I think mine are just starting to set a few buds. A local friend tells me their peas are about the same as mine are. I think it's just the wacky spring.

Zucchini.... is that a bush or a vine zucchini? Either way, it has only just begun to grow. Not sure I would want to trim it now that it is setting blooms, but someone else may know better. I have never trimmed my squash, though, out of fear it might give insects access into the stem.

Everything looks great! Very Happy
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Post  marc-in-pa on 6/16/2010, 10:20 pm

Thanks for the reply Megan. I don't know if it is bush or vine zucchini. I'm going to go with bush since it's not creeping anywhere. It's just growing like mad and sending out it's massive solar panels. It would make great shade for a deck or patio. And thanks for the info about your peas. Glad to hear that they are progressing ok.

I had a dream the other day about making a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich from the garden. These little boxes of greenery are getting in my head. Now if only there was a bacon plant! ... Perhaps I need to get away for a while.

As it happens... my family is vacationing for the next two weeks and a neighbor is watching over the garden for us. I'm both excited and a little scared about what it will be like in early July!

Hope all your gardens are coming along nicely!
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