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Topic: A new house means a new garden.  (Read 3227 times)
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craftylittlemonkey
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« on: July 03, 2016 04:43:25 PM »

4 cubic yards of soil carted by wheelbarrow to the back yard. The chiropractor is my best friend right now.

The mister was wearing his beautiful Fluevog boots to do this job, the loon.

We hired a local farmer to build the boxes and plan out some plantings. Hoping to implement some more of those ideas next season.

The back yard is nearly all concrete.


All the tomatoes and squash came from a friend's compost pile so no idea what they'll be aside from organic, heirloom and amazing.






Sweet potatoes the squirrels like to dig up. I shook a generous dusting of cayenne over the soil, hope that keeps the wee evil diggers out of there.


Cucumber! I ate it, it was delicious Grin.


« Last Edit: October 25, 2017 10:02:46 AM by craftylittlemonkey » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2016 04:56:44 PM »

Hooray for gardening!  Take that, concrete!  Cheesy
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2016 07:08:23 PM »

Love that you "salvaged" so many of your plants. The beds look great! Hope they provide all kinds of yummy delights, and not just for the squirrels lol. You will have to let us know what crunching the number lessons figure out.
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2016 06:22:42 PM »

Looks wonderful - darned squirrels.  If you have a friend who has a fluffy sheddy dog too, you can put some of the dog fur around and see if that will help.  The problem with the cayenne is that if they get it on their paws, then rub it in their eyes or something, it can cause them a great deal of pain and agony.  I used to use the cayenne and critter ridder, which has pepper too, but stopped when my vets office told me that.

Also, my mom and dad, ex-farmers and avid urban veggie gardeners, swear by using broken/old CDs and DVDs hanging about in the garden - the shine/shimmer and movement seems to scare the buggers away.
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2016 05:53:11 AM »

I've also heard of people using windchimes or empty gallon milk jugs on strings that, when they are hung, make a lot of noise in the wind.

I only have a tiny little potted garden on my porch, but the windchimes seem to work.  I *THANK GOODNESS* haven't had any fruits or vegs missing.

Good luck!
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2016 01:14:36 PM »

Take that, concrete, indeed!


Picked fresh just now, green and red lettuce, arugula, basil, and rainbow chard. We'll have to wait a couple more weeks for another salad, lol, but it's a start Smiley.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2016 01:16:24 PM by craftylittlemonkey » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2016 12:20:45 PM »

We don't have cement, but we do have lava with only 2-3" of dirt on top, so raised beds are a must.  Here are a few cheapskate planter ideas:

cardboard boxes:  perfect for annuals and root crops like potatoes.  They dissolve in a season, and we can put a new box on top; the plants can reach down into the older soil.  For longer-lived plants, we can add more dirt around the sides as the box disintegrates. 

Washer and dryer tubs:  good for shrubs and small trees, these take a LOT of soil.  Some dryer tubs have no back (bottom in our use); others have a more or less solid back.  Get them at appliance repair/recycle places.  They're $5 each where I live.  There's also some choice in size; apartment and stackable appliances have cute, smaller tubs.

commercial planting bags:  made of synthetic fabric, they unfold to hold quite a bit of soil ready for planting.  Come in lots of sizes.

We also built a greenhouse; we joke about $500 tomatoes.  But it lets us grow away from the fruit flies that spoil so much fruit here.
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craftylittlemonkey
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2016 05:30:59 PM »

Update photos added to first post. We lost some plants to pests, not just squirrels and birds. The tomatoes and squash went a bit crazy too and are now over crowded, I'll anticipate that in future. Our next effort will be more refined Wink.
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2016 12:20:48 AM »

Do you prune your tomatoes?  That may help.  I am a lazy gardener, so I don't do it.  I know I should, but I just don't.  But it takes care of the overgrowth (duh), and directs more of the plants energy to the a smaller number of branches as opposed to all those rambling tips, and allows more sun to reach the leaves and fruit more effectively.

http://www.finegardening.com/pruning-tomatoes

I really should - I know I should - but as much as I love a pretty garden, I love crafting more.
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craftylittlemonkey
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2016 06:14:36 AM »

I don't prune them, no. I've read opinions on both sides of the issues from experienced gardeners, some who swear by it and others who say they've tried both with no discernible difference in results so... I don't feel bad about not doing it, lol.
The garage in the back yard is in the spot that gets the most sun, we don't use it so it's coming down this year and we'll fence and cover it for planting rows next year. We'll keep some of the boxes, move one to the front yard between the driveway and the walk, and gain back some of the play space in the yard for the kids. The far back of the yard is shady so we're going to move the railroad ties, rocks and soil back there and brick it over for a seating area. I'll post progress pics as it goes along. We've got plans to reclaim some of the weathered tongue and groove the garage is made out of for a new, smaller shed for our coffee roaster. And we've decided not to build a porch off the back of the house but put up a small greenhouse/potting shed there. We're pretty excited about all that, wish us luck!
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2016 06:58:30 PM »

You know, I had about 6 tomato plants and I know I had ripe tomatoes because I saw them from my window... guess how many tomatoes I actually harvested and ate?Huh  ONE - ONE LONE CHERRY TOMATO!!!!  Either *THAT DOG* is eating them behind our backs, or the danged bushy tailed rodents that live in the maple tree squirrel condo just on the other side of fence are getting them!
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craftylittlemonkey
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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2016 10:39:10 AM »

We didn't dig up the potatoes & now it's a mess of snow outside, oops. The fellas are out there today, only the first inch or so of soil is frozen and they say the box is full of spuds!
After clearing all the leaves last week another small but perfect broccoli was found. I put it into a quiche, delicious!



ETA the potatoes, including some tiny yams.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2016 06:20:20 AM by craftylittlemonkey » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2016 01:11:06 PM »

I dug carrots with the top 1-2 inches frozen. They looked so silly sticking out of the collar of frozen dirt. But so delicious. Yay on your spuds. They look so yummy.
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craftylittlemonkey
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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2017 07:05:56 AM »

This year we got started late again. By the time I got to them the back boxes were completely overrun with weeds. Clearing them out I found lots of tomato babies that had sprouted up on their own, they were trying to make a go of it in the shadow of those giant weeds so they were pretty small. Once we cleared out the boxes I transplanted them at the end of June, there were enough to fill the whole garden and only a couple of them failed to thrive. We went away for 2 weeks and a neighbour watered them once during that time (it rained lots, this has been a wet year). When we got back they had gone from this:



To this in just over 2 weeks, OMG!

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