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The garden
Old 05-31-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
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The garden

Just a quick shot of part of one of the gardens. Still very much a work in progress.



Still need to cut the posts to height, spread the rest of the mulch, and run some PEX out to put a faucet in the garden... but I need to finish the south side garden first.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:02 PM   #2
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Nice garden. What do you have planted so far?
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:10 PM   #3
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Very nice!!
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:26 PM   #4
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Very impressive !
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:37 PM   #5
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Nice garden. What do you have planted so far?
thanks everyone

In this garden, five different types of potatoes, snow and sugar snap peas, yellow onions, spinach, a handful of radishes, poppies (for the opium seeds), a mache and romaine lettuce blend, broccoli and cauliflower.

and sweet corn behind the beds.

An in-progress shot of the 'south' garden:



and it partially planted:



That one has broccoli, cauliflower, some cherry tomatoes, san marzano tomatoes (in the photo), some slicer tomatoes (I think a yellow brandywine and a black russian somethingorother), and a lot of mellons (the furthest bed in the photo), basil. Tomorrow it'll also have pole and string beans and the rest of the basil.

The back side has about 15 of our 50 strawberries planted so far and is just waiting on me to finish up construction.

The herb garden:



Well, it was supposed to be the herb garden, but DW got the itch to go asparagus shopping and the plants were bought were coming out of dormancy so they had to be in the ground stat. I ended up digging down 2' to get all of the clay out of the beds, amended the soil under that with some sand, and then backfilled in with some nice topsoil and compost mix.

in the rain, of course



Top near the sidewalk has 15 asparagus crowns planted. A mix of purple and green. We should get a small harvest from them next year and then they'll be mature in a couple more years. The bottom has, for now, about 60 parsley but I'm going to cut about half of them soon and transplant in oregano and rosemary (it's started indoors right now). Middle has soft neck garlic for now.

I also have a 12'x2' planter on the deck with parsley, radishes, and lettuce. I'm planting that one 3' at a time and the parsley will get pulled out before its bed is planted with lettuce.

and the side yard will get planted with dried beans and dent corn.

We also have lots of beneficials mixed in to attract pollinators and predators.

Well, there you go, more than you ever wanted to know... but it's our first garden so we're more than a little excited
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:48 PM   #6
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Webzter ~ you're a definite pro!

Noticing the jacket in the last photo ~ where are you?
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:53 PM   #7
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Wow, that's your first garden? Awesome. It looks like a lof of you-know-what but the results should be worth it!
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:05 PM   #8
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Wow, I love it!

We used to have gardens along your lines, but the critters (deer, rabbits, ground hogs) devastated everything. They were not interested in "sharing" - they wanted it all, as soon as it came out of the ground! Now we're down to a few square feet of plantings, surrounded by chicken wire on 4-foot stakes

Best of luck - there are few things in life better than vegetables just out of the garden.

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Old 05-31-2011, 09:09 PM   #9
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Noticing the jacket in the last photo ~ where are you?
Mid-Michigan. That photo was from March... of course that doesn't mean much around here
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:28 PM   #10
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Very nice garden. I love to watch vegetables grow, I love to eat the fresh vegetables, but I must admit that I don't enjoy all the work. I admire people who garden.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:19 PM   #11
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Really, really fantastic. I am jealous!
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:48 AM   #12
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Very very nice. I do similar things on a much smaller scale. Raised beds are definitely the way to go. More production, much less work.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:45 PM   #13
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Here's a better shot of the south garden. We still need to put some stepping stones in the beds, finish the strawberry boxes on the back part of the terrace, and saw off those 4x4's... and, of course, clean up the yard.



The small pile of cement on the right side of the picture is just some of the junk I unearthed turning dirt. We had to move about 5 tons of rock off the hill and I pulled another few hundred pounds of concrete out of the ground. Still not sure where I'm going to reuse all of those rocks
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:54 PM   #14
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I tend to look at things from a cost benefit analysis pov so I mean no criticism of your project. Just how much money have you spent on wood? What about the wood rotting and requiring replacing in X years? Seems like the cost is cutting into the savings in growing vs buying food.

I ask because I have a garden and the weeding is getting to be very serious. I have often thought of doing raised beds for many reasons most specifically they'd be no till and no weeds! But the cost of the lumber to do this discourages me from doing it. While I could afford it my LBYM mentality says no way the garden is working just fine as is for the past 20 years. BTW, I grow a lot of what I eat so it is not really gardening for fun or to have some vegetables for 3 months, I'm still eating some of last year's stuff and now this year's is kicking in.

The cost keeps me from doing this. Also do you grow winter squash? Their roots spread out and I'd think they'd not do well in a contained bed.

Thanks!
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:35 AM   #15
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I tend to look at things from a cost benefit analysis pov so I mean no criticism of your project. Just how much money have you spent on wood? What about the wood rotting and requiring replacing in X years? Seems like the cost is cutting into the savings in growing vs buying food.
We spent just over $500 on southern yellow pine. My payback on that versus cedar is 4 years. Expected life of the pine is 6-10 years but I'm happy if I hit 5. We'll re-evaluate then and likely do some beds in stone and some in composite wood.

Of course, you can use anything you want to build a raised bed, including just mounding the dirt a bit around the perimeter, hay bales, you name it (pressure treated manufacturers still advise against using pressure treated wood near your food source, but I suppose that could be an option)

Between soil, fence (both high one-time costs), wood and tools, our final cost will be right around $2700. Our monthly food budget is $600 and I'm planning to replace 70% of that by the end of this year, 80% next year, and 90% the year after that.

However, your big assumption is that I'm doing this to save money. We've spent roughly 80 hours a week since mid-February on various garden-related tasks (planting for beneficials, moving rocks, starting seeds indoors, reading, building, etc). Theoretically, my share of that time (~35 hours) could have been spent on, say, a side project at $70/hour or on building some sort of entrepreneurial business idea. Even if you factor in the health benefits of all of this landscaping work (down 15 lbs and 5" off my waist), there's no way the payback, if looking at marginal utility of time, even makes sense.

I'm doing this for many reasons, but it's best summed up by saying that I want to use this wasted land around me to experiment with self-sustainability. Through that lens, as long as the carry cost the first year doesn't bankrupt me (trade-off on buying wood versus stone) and I'm able to keep going with no external inputs if needed (including not replacing the wood if needed), then the opportunity cost doesn't matter to me.

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Also do you grow winter squash? Their roots spread out and I'd think they'd not do well in a contained bed.
We're trellising the melons so they don't take up as much room. They have a similar problem.

We're ripping the grass out of the whole side yard (foreground in this last picture shows a little bit of the yard) and planting corn, dried beans, and butternut squash.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:55 AM   #16
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Webzter . . . my sentiments exactly regarding the costs of gardening (both materials and labor). If I break even as compared to store-bought food, I'm satisfied. Its the pleasure of growing my own, and knowing how and where it was grown, that provides the real payoff for me. Love the photos -- great garden!
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Texas gardens.
Old 06-06-2011, 10:06 AM   #17
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Texas gardens.

Fantastic!! It was 105 yesterday in Houston; our garden four potted tomato plants are officially "finished". (We were eating cherry tomatoes in March though.)

t.r.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:30 AM   #18
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We were eating cherry tomatoes in March though
Jealous!

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It was 105 yesterday in Houston
I grew up in Vegas back when it was actually a dry heat. That was no problem. However, I understand Houston regularly reaches something like 800% humidity too (is it true you need to wear a scuba tank when walking outside?), so I think I'll have to pass on March tomatoes
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:43 AM   #19
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That was no problem. However, I understand Houston regularly reaches something like 800% humidity too (is it true you need to wear a scuba tank when walking outside?), so I think I'll have to pass on March tomatoes
Pretty much accurate (plus all the other Texas "issues" that ReWahoo describes). Your super gardening efforts would generate very disappointing results here so you're definitely best to pass. The only things I had much luck with were okra and jalapenos and with just those two gardening gets kind of old.

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Old 06-06-2011, 11:16 AM   #20
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Pretty much accurate (plus all the other Texas "issues" that ReWahoo describes). Your super gardening efforts would generate very disappointing results here so you're definitely best to pass. The only things I had much luck with were okra and jalapenos and with just those two gardening gets kind of old.

t.r.
Watermelons? Canteloupe?

Greens in winter?

Don't they all work pretty well?

Ha
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