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NEWBIE PLAN - Yes, I'm ambitious!!! Empty NEWBIE PLAN - Yes, I'm ambitious!!!

Post  dstack on 9/9/2013, 3:37 pm

After reading up on companion gardening, here's MY FIRST SFG plan. Things aren't neatly categorized as I like, but I'll give it a try. I'm unsure of quantity per foot on some, so I'll appreciate feedback. 

Please let me know if you have a problem viewing the link.
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Post  sanderson on 9/9/2013, 3:56 pm

Fennel and more Fennel. So you like Fennel? I'll look at it again but it looks like you are thinking this through,
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Post  dstack on 9/9/2013, 5:32 pm

@sanderson wrote:Fennel and more Fennel.  So you like Fennel?  I'll look at it again but it looks like you are thinking this through,
I'm CRAZY for fennel!  I love it in my blender mixes of fruits and veggies as well as in my favorite pesto dish.
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Post  dstack on 9/14/2013, 9:42 am

Today raw linseed oil goes on the wood and I need to get serious about shopping for MM ingredients. I saw that Lowes has 3 cubic feet bails for $11. I'll check HD to see what they have and may have to call around to nurseries. Very Happy
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Post  sanderson on 9/14/2013, 1:55 pm

3 cubic feet bails of what?
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Post  dstack on 9/14/2013, 9:04 pm

@sanderson wrote:3 cubic feet bails of what?
Sorry, that was peat moss. 

Also, I've got the cement humps that drain to the river rock in my bases. Now I'm thinking of sprinkling salt among the rock to prevent algae buildup. Sounds like a great idea to me. Any thoughts on that? It's not like the sodium will leech into the box since the box is on top.
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Post  dstack on 9/14/2013, 9:47 pm

Another thing I accomplished today... I tented my compost hot box up off the ground, heating up the homemade compost that I'll be using in the boxes. An idea I got from that UC Davis article. I didn't get photos today. I'll try to get that tomorrow.
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Post  sanderson on 9/15/2013, 12:02 am

Peat moss! Is it compacted? If so, you need to break up the clumps and fluff it. Should make about 6 cu ft of fluffy stuff. You probably already know this, but you measure the 1/3 peat moss part when it's dry and fluffy.
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Post  dstack on 9/15/2013, 12:09 am

@sanderson wrote:Peat moss!  Is it compacted?  If so, you need to break up the clumps and fluff it.  Should make about 6 cu ft of fluffy stuff.  You probably already know this, but you measure the 1/3 peat moss part when it's dry and fluffy.
Yes, these are compressed bails. I have that part of the book highlighted and will definitely take that into consideration. Thanks. I hope to be ready to plant by next Sunday and I can't wait! Very Happy
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Post  sanderson on 9/15/2013, 2:13 am

I feel it, I feel it. bounce   You are not the only one who salivated at finishing the first box.  Try your best not to take any short cuts or you will have to make it up later in the process.  But you wouldn't be the first one to cut corners.  Embarassed  I called my first MM, Kellogg MM.  Spent all summer topdressing and tucking spoon fulls of worm castings, steer manure and kelp meal (don't tell anyone but I also used Miracle Grow twice).

Once the first compost was done, I top dressed like mad.  I just came inside from screening (1/4" hardware cloth in a frame) my second batch.  It's cooler in the dark with the porch light on. The uncomposted stuff will go into building the 3rd pile.
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Post  dstack on 9/15/2013, 10:06 pm

NEWBIE PLAN - Yes, I'm ambitious!!! Bed_ba10

The potted plants in the back are there only temporary using that 3' aisle. The concrete center support (sloping to the river rock) is done, and I even have the boxes assembled. Then I bought my peat moss and vermiculite. On Tuesday I'll buy the compost to supplement the 6 cubic feet of home made compost that I have heating up in my tented hot box. Very Happy
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Post  sanderson on 9/16/2013, 2:42 am

Good grief!  Shocked A work of art - you could build a 3 story on top of your boxes.
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Post  dstack on 9/16/2013, 6:24 am

NEWBIE PLAN - Yes, I'm ambitious!!! Tented10

Here's my black composter which I call my Hot Box. I've tented it as I saw on the UC Davis article Sanderson gave me. The plastic is actually transparent, but the condensation makes it look white. I have approximately 6.25 cubic feet of my compost that's basically ready to use, and I'll use it in my MM next weekend. I'm a bit paranoid that my compost might be contaminated with nematodes, so I'm hoping one week in this will be enough to kill the black hats. Twisted Evil
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Post  Marc Iverson on 9/16/2013, 12:25 pm

@sanderson wrote:Peat moss! Is it compacted? If so, you need to break up the clumps and fluff it. Should make about 6 cu ft of fluffy stuff. You probably already know this, but you measure the 1/3 peat moss part when it's dry and fluffy.
Peat moss is such a common component of compost that I'm leery of including the full 1/3. Almost every bag of compost I find lists peat moss as an ingredient.

I talked to a county agricultural extension scientist at the farmers market a while back, and he said a problem with container gardening is that all the peat moss in most mixes leads to cycles of shrinking and expansion in the "soil," which in turn causes an ongoing breakage of the fine root hairs the plant sends out. That can damage the plant, slowing growth and reducing productivity. So he warned me not to use too much peat.

I think this is likely less of a problem in a garden bed, which doesn't act so much like a funnel as a container does. The pressure from expanding soil in a container has no place to go but up. The soil in a garden has someplace to go, in other words, when it expands, and the water has some place to wick out to - the drier soil next to it. Still, perhaps it is worth considering how much peat moss to add when using store-bought compost that already has peat moss in it?
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Post  Marc Iverson on 9/16/2013, 12:30 pm

@dstack wrote:Here's my black composter which I call my Hot Box. I've tented it as I saw on the UC Davis article Sanderson gave me. The plastic is actually transparent, but the condensation makes it look white. I have approximately 6.25 cubic feet of my compost that's basically ready to use, and I'll use it in my MM next weekend. I'm a bit paranoid that my compost might be contaminated with nematodes, so I'm hoping one week in this will be enough to kill the black hats. Twisted Evil
Excuse me if I missed it somewhere in this thread, but what are you using to keep the compost off the ground?
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Post  dstack on 9/16/2013, 9:47 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:Excuse me if I missed it somewhere in this thread, but what are you using to keep the compost off the ground?
No, the compost subject carried over from another thread. Sanderson shared a UC Davis article...
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74145.html

...that recommends using a pallet, which I didn't have. So I used 4" cinder blocks making sure hot air could flow underneath as much as possible.
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Post  Triciasgarden on 9/17/2013, 10:54 pm

That article from UC Davis is a great article!  Potatoes I dug up recently had scab.  I haven't finished digging up the rest yet.  But the article says solarizing can kill scab!  This is my first year that my potatoes have had it so I will try it.  There are other diseases and bacteria that this method will take care of so this is good reading material.

I do have to say dstack that you have sure thought of every problem and a solution to it that you could possibly come across.  You have worked extremely hard to get started on the right path!   I am sure you will have a very successful garden!
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Post  Marc Iverson on 9/18/2013, 8:25 pm

Yeah, you've certainly put the effort in to get started on the right foot. I'm looking forward to hearing how you do!

I wonder how high you'll have to climb to pick Florida-grown trellised tomatoes from raised beds!
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Post  dstack on 9/18/2013, 9:06 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:Yeah, you've certainly put the effort in to get started on the right foot.  I'm looking forward to hearing how you do!

I wonder how high you'll have to climb to pick Florida-grown trellised tomatoes from raised beds!
I have a step ladder if I need it.
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Post  Marc Iverson on 9/18/2013, 10:47 pm

Let's wish each other luck not falling down then -- good luck! Next year I plan to keep most of my tomatoes to a single stem, which I imagine means they'll put a lot of that sprawling horizontal energy into the vertical.
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Post  plantoid on 9/19/2013, 6:00 am

Marc,
Lots of commercial growers here in the UK run their tomatoes tied to slanted cords at about 45 degrees angle .
This lets then have 10 foot long vines at the height of 8 feet in their big poly tunnel green houses . It is also used for  outside crops .
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Post  Marc Iverson on 9/19/2013, 2:20 pm

Walshevak has them slanted that way too. Looks like a handy way of doing things. I don't have a lot of horizontal space to use that way, myself.
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