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Topic: Tiny Farm (new pics added July 16!)  (Read 6819 times)
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Katxena
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« on: May 19, 2008 02:02:31 PM »

I've started a tiny farm in my back yard.  I've named it Tiny Farm.

Here's what my backyard looked like before I started.  The lawn is 12x20 feet (about 4x6 meters):


With my husband's help, I built two 3x6 foot (about 1x2 meter) garden beds out of 2x12 lumber.  Then I marked out a grid of 1x1 foot squares on each bed, using nylon cord looped around nails.  Here's a picture of one of the beds.  The other one looks just like it:


I'm using the square foot garden (SFG) method, which you can read more about here.  The grid is key to the SFG method:  you plant each grid intensively, and you only plant what you'll eat.  You time it so that not every thing ripens all at once.  For example, I will be planting 8 radishes a week for the next couple of weeks.  I'm the only radish-eater in my house, and 8 radishes a week is more than enough for me!

I've already planted some beets, radishes, carrots and kohlrabi.  I'll be planting my tomatoes and peppers this weekend.  Here's my planting plan for Spring 2008 (the beds are really about 10 feet apart, one on each side of the yard, against the fence.  They are pictured closer together for viewing convenience):


Click on the plan to see a larger version.

The gray area is the space I'm leaving open for the squash.  I'll plant fast growing stuff (like radishes!) around it until it needs the space.  The tomatoes and squash will be grown in cages.  To keep them from flopping over, the beans will have a tiny fence around them (made with those small white fence segments you buy for cheap at a home store), as will the New Zealand spinach.

What do you think?  This is my first in-ground veggie garden.  I've grown veggies in containers before (a lot of veggies in a lot of containers), and I have a flower bed out front.  But I've never before had an in-ground garden!  I'm super excited.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008 07:00:18 AM by Katxena » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2008 02:27:24 PM »

Fantastic! I am a big fan of SFG methods, and have used them sporadically here. You have a plan and the means to carry it out, and it should work perfectly for you, though. I look forward to updates from the farm! GOOD LUCK!!
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random_awesome
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2008 02:32:15 PM »

very cool idea. i've been wanting to do this myself. i think i just might have to get the supplies this week and build one.
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RockstarMom
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2008 02:37:23 PM »

Neat! I never thought to do it that way. So far for this year I only have 2 mini greenhouses on my window box in my kitchen.
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Katxena
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2008 03:12:33 PM »

Thanks!  I'm super excited about Tiny Farm!  RockstarMom, starting out with containers is great.  I've gardened that way for years, both inside and outside my house.  It's what gave me the confidence to do this project!  After all, my raised beds are just like big containers, especially with the grids.
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miss sarah jane
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2008 03:54:22 PM »

This is awesome!  I've never heard of Square Foot Gardening before (hmmm, is that because in Australia we're metric?) but I've just checked out the website and it sounds like the solution to all the things I don't like about gardening.  Which really all relate to weeding, and to having all this produce at once, rather than being able to gather and harvest as I need it. I think I'm going to give this one a try.  Thanks for posting!!  Grin
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Katxena
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2008 05:26:38 PM »

I think I'm going to give this one a try.  Thanks for posting!!  Grin

Oh!  I hope that you do.  I'd love to see pictures!  Smiley 
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Katxena
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2008 07:01:42 AM »

Here's an update on my garden.

First, a tiny French breakfast radish sprout!  These were the first seeds up, and I was so happy to see them!


Next, the Northeast bed.  It's got a lot planted in it, although I am saving some space for seeds that should be arriving this Saturday (5/31).  Right now, it has tomatoes, marigolds (to protect the tomatoes from harmful nematodes), jalapeno pepper, a bell pepper, two kinds of green beans, and New Zealand spinach. 

I'm planning to add more green beans (I'm succession planting these 3-6 plants per week through July 12), kholrabi, podding radishes, celery root, and scallions. 


The Southwest bed.  So far, I've planted tomatoes, lemon squash, beets, kholrabi, radishes, carrots, a purple bell pepper, and swiss chard.



Here's a picture of the tiny lemon squash plant:


And here's my purple bell pepper (if Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Purple Peppers, how many Purple Peppers would Peter Piper Pick?)
« Last Edit: May 27, 2008 07:03:05 AM by Katxena » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2008 11:58:26 AM »

This sounds right up my alley - I totally need a plan for making a garden!
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2008 12:01:58 PM »

This is straight fabulous!!!  Yay for Tiny Farmers!
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Katxena
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« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2008 09:17:53 AM »

More pictures!

I don't like drip watering systems, but I do like steady watering, so I thought I'd try this idea from the You Grow Girl! book.  I cut the bottom off a 2-liter pop bottle, used a nail to poke a few holes in the cap, then buried it next to a tomato plant.  I've been watering the tomato by pouring water into the bottle.  It's hard to tell from the photo, but the bottle is at an angle and the cap is actually under the tomato plant.



I also tried out using the bottom of the pop bottles as a mini-greenhouse.  In the photo below, I planted four kohlrabi seeds in the square.  The two in front were planted on the same date, and I put a pop bottle bottom over one to see if it sprouted faster than the other one (the two seeds in th back row were planted a week earlier and have already sprouted).



Four days later, the seed under the mini-greenhouse sprouted (look to the left of the rock):


I tried hard to give them the same amount of water during that time, but the seed that sprouted is slightly downhill from the other one, so it may have received some runoff.  But I'm convinced that the mini-greenhouse helped.

I also got my herb containers planted.  I have two big 24-inch pots.  I planted them with sage (2 kinds), basil (2 kinds), lemon thyme, catnip, nasturtium and a dichrondia.  Everything but the dichrondia is edible -- it's just pretty!  Here's one of the containers:



And here's a glamor shot of one of the lemon thyme plants.  These are so pretty.

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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2008 10:02:01 PM »

Katxena-I love Tinyfarm. I think you need some cool TInyfarm signs for it. I've used square foot gardening several times. My problem is I just don't trust nature. My dad would always plant his corn with the old rhyme "one for the squirrel, one for the crow, one to rot and one to grow"! Of course, then I end up with way too many plants Roll Eyes
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Katxena
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« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2008 03:43:50 AM »

Thanks balkandina!  I think I need cool Tiny Farm signs too.  I've been keeping my eyes peeled lately for old wood -- I have an idea bout what I want the sign to look like, but I need a piece of old wood!  Smiley

It's so hard to not plant too much.  SFG is supposed to help with that, but even then I find it hard.My theory is that they just give us too many seeds in a packet!  Smiley
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heini
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2008 03:16:01 AM »

Love your Tiny Farm!

There is a large field nearby where people can rent 10m x 10m or 5m x 10m sized "gardens" for the summer to grow veggies. They are pretty cheap and I have beans, potatoes, cucumber, squash etc. growing there. Unfortunately I've heard that next year they're going to build houses there. If I can't rent a piece of ground anywhere else, I'll ask my landlord if I can start a garden like that in our backyard.
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Katxena
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2008 05:51:39 AM »

Heini, that's so great that you can rent land to garden.  It's too bad they are building on it.

We have community gardens like that here too, but there aren't very many of them in my area.  I'd love to have one.  I'm on the waiting list for 2!
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Katxena
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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2008 07:03:23 AM »

I've been harvesting greens from my garden so far, but the other day I got my first few tomatoes, and tonight I'm going to harvest my first squash.  Look how cute they are!  The seed packet said they were the exact size, color and shape of a lemon -- I guess it was right:



The rest of the garden is also doing well.  Here's an overview of both beds:




I love my garden.  It's so full of life!
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katybird63
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2008 11:45:16 AM »

That is so cool.  I have never heard of square foot gardening before but I think it is a great idea.  I am going to pass this on to my sister who lives in a townhome with virtually no yard.  Thanks again for the great information.
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Katxena
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« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2008 01:11:05 PM »

Square foot gardening is the best!  It's a great way to garden in a small space -- I hope your sis finds it helpful!
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« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2008 07:59:08 AM »

ah tiny farmer! You've inspired me!
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« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2008 10:24:12 AM »

ah tiny farmer! You've inspired me!

Woo Hoo!  Let us know if you do set up a garden.  I'd love to see it!
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joocemonster
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2008 12:22:28 PM »

I highly suggest getting a chicken to make your tiny farm complete. They'll help eat bugs, are easier to maintain than a cat or dog, and seriously...they're awesome. Plus, you get free, organic eggs!

of course, I'm highly in favor of everyone getting a chicken.

just sayin.
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Katxena
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« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2008 12:39:55 PM »

I highly suggest getting a chicken to make your tiny farm complete. They'll help eat bugs, are easier to maintain than a cat or dog, and seriously...they're awesome. Plus, you get free, organic eggs!

I grew up with chickens, and I agree with you that they are awesome.  I think my current yard is simply too small for a chicken - it's about 200 square feet total, and 100 square feet is patio.  I don't think chickens are happy on their own, so I'd need at least 2.   They'd need a pen of some sort, which would reduce my garden space. 

I've thought about it, and it's sadly not workable for me right now.

But in my next yard!  I'll definitely have chickens.
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joocemonster
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2008 07:21:58 AM »

Yeah, I couldn't see your yard, but that's probably best. lol My dad just got a new flock, so I'm sorta feel like the crazy chicken lady right now. ^_^ Your neighbors probably wouldn't enjoy them being that close, either. I don't know about other breeds, but these bani hens we have are LOUD.

I love your tiny farm though...Where I currently live, the is far too much shade to successfully grow much, but I think next year I'll talk the boyfriend into letting me keep a couple tomatos on his apartment porch.
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nat_attack
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« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2008 09:53:32 AM »

Dude, I have been super-obsessed with SFG lately. My two best friends (a couple) just bought a really awesome house with a totally kickass backyard... and me and my man are gonna live in the apt in their basement. I am totally excited about starting a square foot garden!! I've got the whole household wanting to start a box too! I cant wait til we move in Smiley


Your garden looks awesome! Mmmm fresh veggies. Keep us posted!!!

Smiley Smiley
Oh btw I def want to see a pic of the purple bell pepper when it fruits! I saw this for the first time in France last year and I was amazed! Do they taste differently than the red/green/yellow kind?
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008 09:57:00 AM by nat_attack » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Katxena
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« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2008 02:35:22 PM »

Good luck with your garden @nat_attack!!!!  Gardening is very gratifying.

Here's the purple bell pepper:


It's very dark green on the inside, and tastes like a regular bell pepper.  It was very crisp.
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Avian Flight
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2008 09:15:58 PM »

lovely garden! i planted a few pots and a big old tub with small tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and basil. everything grew beautifully and fresh veggies are so yummy! i wish i had as much space as you. i live in NYC so no real yard for me. 
« Last Edit: September 06, 2008 09:16:16 PM by Avian Flight » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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