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Gunny's Garden Update

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Post  Guest 1/26/2013, 7:51 pm

Just thought I would bring you all up to speed on what's been going on down here in the Southern West by Southwest.
I have almost completed the composting area and have finished the first four 2'x 4' beds. The reason I went this route is that I put them on legs so they would be easier to move if needed. I also have a 3'x 6' bed that was pretty much pre-made out of 2"x 4"s and I added a rim of 2"x 2"s to bring it up to depth plus legs so it'll work as a sit down garden with the other 4, but wont be as portable because of the weight. All of this is out of castoff lumber that I comshawed from the ranch. I have more lumber, but have to remove all the fasteners from it before it will be useful.
The composting area is going to be 7 or 8 bins made out of pallets (also scrounged up) and tied together with hey twine. I know that's a lot but I have a lot of material to compost. I have to take it on the slow bell due to service connected injuries, but it's getting done.
Will be mixing MM next week if the rain goes away. This place turns into Camp Swampy when its wet. Put on a pair of irrigation boots and go walking out there, after a few steps you keep going, but your boots are back where you started because the clay got hold of 'em and pulled 'em off your feet.
I also finished the first of the critter cages, again out of castoff materials. Anyone ever tried to work with used chicken wire? It can be a challenge especially when it's the wrong size. Had to sew two pieces together with some galvanized wire to get it wide enough and then folded the ends down like a Christmas present. Saved a bunch of cutting and sewing that way. (Zip ties wont last in the heat of summer just like bungee cords, they fall apart after a few weeks.) Not pretty, but it'll work. Now to find some more chicken wire.
BTW, Home Depot carries vermiculite, but medium grade only at about $20 per 2 cu.ft. bag. Tried them online and no course grade there either. Found course grade at about $35 per 3.5 cu.ft. bag at the local nursery supply which is a lot closer then H.D. I'm glade that this is a one time purchase or it would drive me to ruin. The rest of the materials were from Walmart and Lowes.
Well, it's been a busy month since we got back. Things are smoothing out both here and the ranch. I talk of here and the ranch being separate but they're on the same 5 acres, just at different ends. We usually refer to the ranch as the udder end. That's where Mrs. Gunny does her thing and I get all the droppings as an ROI. Very Happy
You all have fun and I'll see you in a little while without so long a silence in between.

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Post  llama momma 1/26/2013, 8:11 pm

Gunny's Garden wrote:
The composting area is going to be 7 or 8 bins made out of pallets (also scrounged up) and tied together with hey twine. I know that's a lot but I have a lot of material to compost. I have to take it on the slow bell due to service connected injuries, but it's getting done.
so long a silence in between.


I've got 5 pallet bins and it's quite a workout with just me and my shovel and fork. Good luck and please share pics when its done.
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Post  GWN 1/26/2013, 10:06 pm

I have almost completed the composting area and have finished the first four 2'x 4' beds. The reason I went this route is that I put them on legs so they would be easier to move if needed. I also have a 3'x 6' bed that was pretty much pre-made out of 2"x 4"s and I added a rim of 2"x 2"s to bring it up to depth plus legs so it'll work as a sit down garden with the other 4, but wont be as portable because of the weight. All of this is out of castoff lumber that I comshawed from the ranch. I have more lumber, but have to remove all the fasteners from it before it will be useful.
Sounds like you are off to a good start, and if you are like me you will likely add more beds as the spring/summer approach.
SOOO it is a good thing you have extra lumber. Sounds like a great garden, do you have pictures, we always love pictures.
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Post  Gunny 2/1/2013, 8:25 am

Howdy Folks,
Well the composting area turned out to be ten bins made out of produce pallets. The bins are side by side to form a row. Now the only trouble I'll have is filling them on the slow bell. Still waiting for the clay to dry so I can start making MM. Also waiting for a friend to come over with his tractor and gather all my horse poo into one place. The wife was trying to build up the soil and scattered it all over the outback and it's to much trouble to bring in a wheelbarrow full at a time from half an acre, sometime a full acre, away. Gets to be to tiring for this old salt.
BTW, Have tried hosting pix with no success so that idea is out. Anyone know how to share off Google+??
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Post  camprn 2/1/2013, 8:46 am

Gunny wrote:Howdy Folks,
Well the composting area turned out to be ten bins made out of produce pallets. The bins are side by side to form a row. Now the only trouble I'll have is filling them on the slow bell. Still waiting for the clay to dry so I can start making MM. Also waiting for a friend to come over with his tractor and gather all my horse poo into one place. The wife was trying to build up the soil and scattered it all over the outback and it's to much trouble to bring in a wheelbarrow full at a time from half an acre, sometime a full acre, away. Gets to be to tiring for this old salt.
BTW, Have tried hosting pix with no success so that idea is out. Anyone know how to share off Google+??
hmm. off G+.. Find the photo you want, right click the photo and choose to open it in another window. Go to that window and copy the address in the address bar at the top. Come back to the forum and click the image icon, the one on the right. paste the address in that little box, click ok then go to preview to see if the photo stuck to the post.

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Post  Gunny 2/1/2013, 10:50 am

Thanks Camprn, will give it a try. Everyone wants pix and I have a bunch.
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Post  llama momma 2/1/2013, 11:05 am

Gunny wrote:Howdy Folks,
Well the composting area turned out to be ten bins made out of produce pallets....Gets to be to tiring for this old salt.
I can't wait to see your pictures. I filled 5 pallet bins with a shovel and fork and it took a couple of months. You will be very happy with the results. Way to go! Gunny's Garden Update 3170584802
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Post  Gunny 2/15/2013, 12:03 pm

Howdy all,
My last frost date is on Feb. 17th, but I got ansy and staretd direct sowing last week. The weather forcasts looked good, but I forgot about my little micro climate here. My temps vary about 5-10°F from the "official" temps and had a late little freeze that lasted a few hours. How disappointing to come out and see frozen water. I hope it didn't hurt the seeds. They were only in for a couple of days and most of them take 7-15 days to sprout. Well will know in a couple of weeks and thanks to the SFG method I have pleanty more. My seed potatoes were sprouting so I put them in there respective bins and am waiting for the tops to appear.
Looks like the factory farms next door on the West side have planted a grass crop. Across the road on the North side they've put in a grass crop too. It's to early to tell what they are yet, could be winter wheat or Sudan grass.
My compost is cooking away, can't wait until its done. The trouble with it is that it doesn't change color much, comes out about the same color as it goes in. Will have to see if the mix is broken down. One thing I have found with horse manure is that it doesn't take a whole lot to start cooking, only about 12" high and it's off. I found out that if I had poly pipe running through the bins, I could have free hot water. I might try it for pasteurizing my well water as it is high in organic content and tastes bad to boot. I have a biosand filter on the drawing board to make the water better for us and the garden. In the meantime it's off to the water stand for another load.
You all have a safe and fun time and I'll let you know if my early sowing germinated or not.
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Post  Kelejan 2/15/2013, 6:28 pm

Looking forward to seeing how you[progress. I still have a foot of snow on top of my compost heap. Patience! Patience! Smile
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Gunny's Garden Update Empty Pix of My Composting Station

Post  Gunny 2/19/2013, 1:18 am

The humble beginnings of my composting area.Gunny's Garden Update Wire_c10
The next stage of the composting area.Gunny's Garden Update Start_11
And the Third Stage. Gunny's Garden Update Compos10
Still not done with it for pix but will get the rest to you now that I know how.
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Post  Gunny 2/19/2013, 1:38 am

Here is the beginning of my garden. This is the first box of four. They are 2'x4' so they can be moved as needed. Only not by me I tried and the things are just to heavy for me Very Happy
Gunny's Garden Update 1st_be10
Here are the four half beds.
Gunny's Garden Update My_fou10
This is the makings of my garden area. I am using the 3'x6' bed as a work table here as I put together some other things I'm working on for the garden.
Gunny's Garden Update The_ma10
That's all for now as my eyes are trying to close of there own will. I promise there will be more to follow.
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Post  camprn 2/19/2013, 6:39 am

Gunny! Lookin' good! okay

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Post  Goosegirl 2/19/2013, 7:55 am

Love the boxes and all the compost room! Lookin' good!

GG
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Post  plantoid 2/19/2013, 8:45 am

That all looks good Gunny .
I didn't visulize that you lived on the edge of a scrub desert instead I had a minds eye picture of some sparce greenery and a few trees with green leaves .


That sure is one mean hard place and a heck of a hard task to get growing food .

Good luck with it , ANSFG seems to be an ideal solution for it .
Keep us all posted as to your progress please.
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Post  Kelejan 2/19/2013, 9:30 am

Gunny, looking forward to seeing pictures of your boxes greening up.
I love the colour green. Very Happy
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Post  llama momma 2/19/2013, 11:17 am

Keep up the good work Gunny! Compost is money in the bank. Very Happy
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Post  Gunny 2/21/2013, 9:25 am

Thank you all kindly,
I have sprouts in my boxes, well okay a couple, but my snow peas are poking through and a cuc is breaking ground. The green onions are showing signs too. Yea. That little freeze didn't hurt them, now am waiting on the basil, carrots and radishes, plus a few others.
Been trimming a mesquite tree and getting past folks thorns out of the area. Hard job, but the rewards will be worth it. I getting years of leaf mold from under the tree as I clear out the thorns and old bean pods. Still have two humungous arrow weeds to clear before I can get to sifting the leaf mold. Fortunately mesquite have such tiny leaves that I don't have the added work of grinding them down to size. My poor boots, the souls look like a cheep dart board in a pub. I stepped in some water and the boots leak too lol!
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Post  Gunny 2/22/2013, 10:56 am

Here is an idea for a three sisters garden, an old horse feeder,
Gunny's Garden Update Three_11
BTW, there will be three of the three sisters gardens as I has comshawed two more feeders from the udder end where Mrs. Gunny has her critters for the program. She just got another donated, a miniature pig named Spot.
Gunny's Garden Update Spot10
These are some of her petting farm critters,
Gunny's Garden Update Peting10
she is in the process of building a new area for the petting farm and when the critters get moved I'll have to put on my Manure Movers Local hat and gather up all the droppings which will go into this,
Gunny's Garden Update Comple10 my completed compost station and all are full. Will have to turn them in a little while, 'cause the temps are starting to drop.
Okay for those with inquiring minds, here is the garden layout as it stand for now,
Gunny's Garden Update Garden10 I'll have to remember to take a pi at midday so my shadow isn't in it and show you what it looks like from the East so you can get a better idea. The large 3x6 box is for strawberrys, there are 10 root sets in there, the east end is crowded with three plants while the rest are checkerboarded in. Most will have two squares to spread out in.
The smaller boxes hold salad stuff and others plants like basil (5 types), spinach, peas, carrots, radishes and onions (green, dry, and chives). One box is waiting for warmer weather (days 70's, nights 30's) for my hot crops like toms, peppers, etc.
I also have three asparagus root sets in 1x1 box planters. And that wraps it up for know. Next time I'll acquaint you with my thorn battle. Just a hint, folks who trimmed the mesquite trees in the past didn't pick up there trimmings, but covered them over. Here is a look at the killer thorns I'm finding Gunny's Garden Update Nature10 some of these puppies are close to 3" long and once they go in they have to be pulled out, they will not fall out of their own. Sad


Last edited by Gunny on 2/22/2013, 11:01 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : replace link with pix)
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Post  Kelejan 2/22/2013, 11:20 am

Those thorns look wicked, Gunny.
Not clearing up those thorns is on a par with people not stripping wallpaper and papering over the top, or not rubbing down old paint and painting directly over. Just that one does not get hurt like with the thorns.
I do admire all your pallets of compost-to-be. A lot of work ahead of you but it will be worth it. Lovely to have all that manure close by. Very Happy
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Post  llama momma 2/22/2013, 11:26 am

That's a lot of compost, congratulations! way to go
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Post  bnoles 2/22/2013, 12:51 pm

Hi Gunny,,, what a great inspiration you are. There is a lot of work in what I see in those pictures, but the rewards are awesome. Thanks for sharing your journey and good luck on those vicious thorns.
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Gunny's Garden Update Empty Cibola Plant sale

Post  female 3/19/2013, 9:55 am

Hey Gunny,

We live up the way off of A 1/2. My husband is the big gardener at our house but I do all the research! I told him all about your new adventure in sfging! It has been exciting to see your progress through pictures and very encouraging reading your posts! A few years ago, my daughter volunteered over at "Saddles".

I writing to let you know, if you want a little instant gratification or a center piece for ea of those boxes? Cibola HS's (Ave C) FFA is having a plant sale $1 ea this Saturday, March 23 starting 7 or 8 am. They are going to have about 500 plants according to my son.
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Post  quiltbea 3/19/2013, 11:30 am

I enjoyed my walk thru your small dessert farm Gunny. I see you've done a lot of work and still laboring with that mesquite. I hope the compost you'll be getting works its magic for you.
We all love pictures. Thanks for sharing.
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Post  Gunny 3/19/2013, 12:38 pm

Thanks for the heads up on the plant sale and Howdy Neighbor! I see you joined the forum on my birthday, what a belated surprise. Thank your daughter for her help at the udder end.. Very Happy
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Post  Farmer Don 3/19/2013, 1:00 pm

Hi Gunny,

Nice operation. Great compost supply. I hope you have a fire watch detail guarding it. All you need now is a little C4 and Napalm to lay down on those thorns and you'll be all set. Did you know your carrots grow straighter if you post a "  Bless Chesty Puller" sign next to them? LOL!
Happy gardening and
Semper Fi,
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PS I thought your birthday was November 10th?
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