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My first garden! :)

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Post  laurakay60 on 6/10/2011, 10:33 am

I decided to plant my first garden this year - haven't tried vegetable gardening since I was a kid. I'm excited to see how things grow. I heard about the SFG method and I'm hoping it turns out to be as easy as it sounds - so far, so good. I got my garden built and planted without any issues - other than having to wait out the cold spring here in northern Wisconsin. I ended up making a 4x8 bed.

Here's what it looks like so far - I planted some things from seed and bought some plants to transplant. I got a late start and the growing season isn't extremely long in my area.

I'll post updated pictures when the seeds start to sprout.

My first garden! :) Garden10


My first garden! :) Sam_0612
The side nearest the soybean field is the north end.

My first garden! :) Sam_0614
laurakay60
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Post  Kelejan on 6/10/2011, 12:04 pm

My first garden! :) 396615 laurakay60 from a first-year newby on this forum and a second-year SFG.

You will find lots of good advice here and folks are ready to help you.

Any criticism is only to help you. Like all of us we will make mistakes, especially in our first year, but I know that you will get heaps of enjoyment in your first year seeing how things turn out. Before you know it you will have an abundance of some things and a shortge of others. And such joy when you pick your first lettuce leaf or eat your first radish. Oops!, I see you do not have radishes.

I started last year with two 4x4s and this year added another 4x4 and a little 3x2 and I still want more.

Thanks for the pictures, we just love them here, and show us how it grows.

Kelejan from British Columbia, Canada.
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Post  Furbalsmom on 6/10/2011, 1:46 pm

My first garden! :) 654548 LauraKay

So nice to have you join us. Your first year of SFG is such an adventure and I am sure you will enjoy it. A four by eight bed is a good size to begin with. It allows you to try a variety of veggies.

Since you have a long side on the North of your garden, you may decide to use that as your trellis end next year, and plant your tall and vining plants on that side. Usually, we use the North side for tall and vining plants as it will prevent them from shading the rest of your garden. Are you planning the watermelon and cantelope to grow up, or are you planning to have it grow out into the yard?

Good luck on a first veggie garden and please keep us updated on your progress.
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Post  laurakay60 on 6/10/2011, 2:18 pm

Thanks for the nice welcome Smile

The plan for now is to have the melons vine out into the yard. I'm hoping that works. I thought about planting them in a separate area, but didn't have anything available right now.

As far as the vining plants I'm hoping they vine unto those metal cages with a little assistance, but not sure if it'll work completely. We'll see what happens I guess. I am thinking about growing the peas up with sticks, then putting string between the two metal cages to let them continue to vine across.

I don't know if that will work either. It's all an experiment for me, albeit a fun one! Very Happy


Unfortunately I think it's going to be a battle to keep "critters" out. I went out this morning and found my onion sets all dug up and laying around, but not eaten?! The area where I planted my peas was also dug up, but nothing else was touched. Very strange. What could it be??
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Post  Furbalsmom on 6/10/2011, 3:09 pm

laurakay

What types of animals are in your area? Different kinds take different types of prevention.
Sometimes squirrels will dig around and move things, but not really eat much except seeds. Bunnies tend to eat the leaves of things. Deer will gobble leaves, and have been know to pull plants out by the roots. Birds, like crows and Jays, will dig out seeds and tiny seedlings. Voles will come up from the bottom and eat roots and bulbs. I am afraid there are too many for us to consider without knowing what is in your area.
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Post  showard on 6/10/2011, 3:19 pm

Last year I planted butternaut squash and watermelon in the corner and let them grow on the grass on the outside of the bed. It was easy to train them to do that but I had problems keeping the lawn mowed under it because the grass got real tall and I had to lift and move all the vines. I didn't break any but was afraid I would.
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Post  laurakay60 on 6/10/2011, 3:34 pm

Furbalsmom - We have a little of everything here in northern Wisconsin - our yard is also located near a woods, so that doesn't help matters.. we see deer, crows, MANY other small birds, and raccoon frequently. Also bear and wild turkey occasionally. I've seen badgers, fishers, skunks, and weasels as well - usually not near the house. Same with bigger birds such as sandhill cranes and geese - they stick to the fields typically. I rarely see squirrels, rabbits, or chipmunks in the yard. I've never seen a mole or vole of any kind near the house. We have seen a stray cat hanging around on occasion.

Seeing that it happened during the night I suspect something nocturnal....

Maybe if it keeps happening I'll put out the game camera we use during deer hunting and try to catch a photo of the suspect. Wink

I think what attracted it was some fish guts my boyfriend had buried in the field across the yard after our fishing trip earlier this week. Whatever it was also dug those up, chewed on them a little and left them in the yard near the garden. I think that eliminates any "plant-eater" type of animal?

edit: I forgot to mention coyotes...but I don't think it would be them.


Last edited by laurakay60 on 6/10/2011, 4:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  laurakay60 on 6/10/2011, 3:36 pm

showard -

I'm glad to hear it was easy enough to train them that way. I did suspect grass mowing would become an issue. Do you think it would have a negative impact on the plants to just let the grass grow tall? I know it won't look the best, but if it gets the job done...
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Post  showard on 6/10/2011, 3:43 pm

No, I don't think so...except maybe it could attract insects...in fact I figured it would be better because it was soft, I just hated how it looked once it started growing. We just mowed it like every 3 weeks or so and went around it a couple times. Like you, I am near woods and in the country and I have tons of different animals up here except bunnies and chipmunks. My squash pretty much all got eaten last year, everytime it got about 3 inches long. I'm putting up a fence this year!
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Post  laurakay60 on 6/10/2011, 4:03 pm

What kind of fencing are you going to use? I may end up having to do the same if it becomes a major problem.
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Post  showard on 6/10/2011, 9:16 pm

I don't know yet, but something cheap. Probably something temporary for this year because I've spent so much money already on the garden.
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Post  harmerd on 6/13/2011, 8:17 pm

What a great variety of plants Laura.
The garden looks great!
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Post  busygirl on 6/13/2011, 8:35 pm

@laurakay60 wrote:We have seen a stray cat hanging around on occasion.

Seeing that it happened during the night I suspect something nocturnal....


I blame the CAT!! Laughing (there is a story behind it--check my avatar and the corn thread)

The good news is that my free-roaming cats and dog keep all of the OTHER critters out. I just have to watch THEM!

edited for grammar... Rolling Eyes


Last edited by busygirl on 6/13/2011, 8:38 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : grammar)
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 6/13/2011, 10:15 pm

Welcome aboard from me, too!! It looks like you have a great garden going. You also have received some great advice from our veterans. I won't add much other than my hellos.

In future plans, though, I would move the cantaloupe and watermelon back to the north side of the bed, unless they are going to be allowed to spill out over the edges. Broccoli may do better on the north, too. But, broccoli can also be used to shade some other things that will want to bolt on you like spinach, carrots, and lettuces.
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Post  Lurach on 6/13/2011, 11:34 pm

Ohhh I love how your bed looks made of retaining stones! I'm so jealous I couldn't do something like that here. I don't have anything to add on critter prevention, being a newbie myself, but welcome to the forum and keep up the great work! =)
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Post  laurakay60 on 6/28/2011, 5:59 pm

Things are really starting to grow - I can't believe how much bigger most things have gotten since I originally posted. Thankfully the mystery critter decided to leave my garden alone after the onion-digging incident. Maybe the dog hair I put around the edge detered them? I'm just glad I didn't have to deal with putting up a fence...yet!

Anyway - here's some photos!

My first garden! :) Sam_0610

My first garden! :) Sam_0611
ellie - the border collie - just had to be in the photo! Smile

My first garden! :) Sam_0612

canteloupe vines - i was suprised that these started blossoming already as they aren't very big yet....i'm sure they won't fruit yet, but who knows

My first garden! :) Sam_0613

snow peas - i'm hoping these do well...they are looking the best of all the things i planted from seed.

unfortunately all but one of my pickling cuke transplants didn't survive and i've replanted those from seed - they are just starting to come up...

I have a tiny baby bell pepper, but nothing else is producing yet. I have to learn to be patient. It's fun watching everything get bigger by the day though! Very Happy
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Post  Furbalsmom on 6/28/2011, 6:07 pm

laurakay

Things really are jumping up in your garden.

I also had a cucumer transplant that did not make it. Sad I am direct seeding too.
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Post  laurakay60 on 6/28/2011, 6:13 pm

I guess you live and you learn - I'll probably just start them from seed right away next year. The tomatoes, pepper, and eggplant from transplant are thriving. Certain plants must deal with the change better. Seems like such a good "jumpstart" to buy the plants, but doesn't work out so well if they end up dying. pale

The cukes, watermelon, and okra transplants didn't fair so well. I haven't completely given up on the okra yet, but it's not looking good - probably will just pull it and plant a second round of carrots in that square to stagger the harvest. Smile
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