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Thread: Veggie gardens

  1. #1
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Veggie gardens

    After clearing a bunch of out-of-control foliage from my backyard I decided to to dedicate a 35'x45' chunk of the now-empty ground to vegetable gardening. Since the "soil" is mostly clay (AKA "black gumbo") and I don't want to spend the next 10 years amending it with compost before I can make use of it, the plan is to build 4 enormous (4'x29') raised beds. Space not occupied by the beds themselves, used for composting and a small utility storage unit for holding tools and supplies will be covered with heavy-duty weed control fabric, and maybe some paving stones or gravel on top of that. That's a fairly big and pricey project that I'll need to do in phases, and I've gotten such a late start that the first phase of beds and ground cover will have to wait until the fall. In the meantime I've gone ahead and put a few things directly in the clay (except for two tomatoes and some carrots I planted in large containers I had sitting around) just as an attempt to have something this year. I'm hoping for the best, but have little expectation of much success until I have beds full of actually loose soil to plant in. So here is what I have so far:

    6 Tomatoes (2 San Marzano, 2 Brandywine, 1 Celebrity and 1 Better Boy, with the latter 2 being in containers) The container plants are doing well. Those in the ground are surviving, but not growing vigorously so far.
    2 Jalapeņos. 1 has taken off pretty well, while the other seems to be a bit stunted for some reason.
    2 Poblanos. Similar to the Jalapeņos, 1 is growing well and already has 1 pepper on it, while other is stunted.
    1 Habanero. Fairly healthy with some blooms just now coming in.
    1 Soy Bean. Seems healthy, with 1 pod produced so far.
    12 Lima Beans. Doing surprisingly well, they're about 10" tall with huge leaves.
    1x2' row of carrots sown in the ground, and about another 2' sown around the perimeter of the larger tomato container. They just now have true leaves. This was the wrong time to plant them, and I don't have a lot of hope for them...especially the ones in the heavy clay.

    I also got a 2'x4' cedar raised planter for the wife to grow some kitchen herbs in. I've dubbed this the Simon & Garfunkel garden, as it's planted with Parsley (Flat Leaf), Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (Lemon)...in addition to Fern Leaf Dill, Garlic, Greek Oregano and Chives. All of this is growing quite well.

    I know some of you guy grow edibles every year. What do you have going this season?
    Now don't go ninja-in' nobody that don't need ninja-in'.

    ~ Diemon Dave

  2. #2
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    I planted tomatoes on Sunday. Seems late but we aren't guaranteed frost free until about this time. Planting sooner simply puts you behind the 8-ball and knocks the tomatoes back. I have 12 Romas. Planted the San Marzano last year and you will like them.
    With things being the way they are I didn't get to choose but order by phone and then pick them up. Couldn't remember the name except Roma.

    I have 4 peppers. Can't remember the name except they were supposed to be sweet. Two of the cherry type tomatoes (sun sweet?). I eat those while I garden...lol

    I planted potatoes mid-March. Planted beans on Sunday. Already have the blackberry bushes, red raspberry, boysenberry bushes. I've let the asparagus grow to seed now as I'm done eating on it. Garlic went in, in October and it is about a foot and a half tall. Vidalia (not really but same species) went in with the potatoes.

    My residence prior to now had clay soil. Don't be too upset, clay soil are rich in good stuff. Just a little harder to work. My suggestion would be (if you can get your hands on them) is to get some hay bales. Use the hay for weed control and then it will decompose into the soil leaving you with a better soil in the future.

    I've tried the weed mats and they work great on certain things. I've also tried newspaper and it really leaves your garden looking pretty trashy.

    Glad to see you are jumping in full force. Now we can share sob stories about how our crops were wiped out due to (wind, rain, hail, poor nutrients, frisky dogs, clumsy wives etc.) lol
    I write English not so well, but this thin string for sewing or fabric-making my funny wheel getickles. Baron von Schtupp

  3. #3
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    You will like your raised beds. Good drainage. Easy to keep your dogs out of it.
    I write English not so well, but this thin string for sewing or fabric-making my funny wheel getickles. Baron von Schtupp

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    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    My original garden (same house) was a 90'x14' stretch along the rear-most fence. About 24 years ago I had 8 cu. yds. of sandy loam trucked in and I roto-tilled it into the clay (I was much more ambitious and in better shape back then), making it at least fairly workable. It was good enough for most everything except root crops. Although I was able to grow good amounts of potatoes, garlic and onions they were a real pain to harvest. I worked that for a few years, including a portion of it that was repurposed for a small vineyard (24 vines) until they were infected by Pierce's Disease and had to be torn out. But then I got lazy and just let it go, and also planted a fig that has taken over much of that area. The ground I'm turning into a garden now has never been worked, and is still pure clay. I decided if I'm going to have more soil trucked in so I can grow food I might as well do it right and just use the good dirt by itself in raised beds with all the advantages that come with that instead of trying to turn more crappy clay into semi-useful soil. Beds that big will allow me to grow more than we can eat, and covering the rest of the area with weed barrier means that much grass I don't have to mow.
    Now don't go ninja-in' nobody that don't need ninja-in'.

    ~ Diemon Dave

  5. #5
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    Send pics. Always fun to watch the progress. I'll take few after I assault the weeds more.
    I write English not so well, but this thin string for sewing or fabric-making my funny wheel getickles. Baron von Schtupp

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    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    The stuff in the ground is nothing to look at yet. But the wife's raised herb garden is looking good. The signs on the right are where Chives, Oregano and Sage seeds recently went in, as well as some garlic bulbs we haven't put up a sign for yet.

    (Full Size)
    Now don't go ninja-in' nobody that don't need ninja-in'.

    ~ Diemon Dave

  7. #7
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    Looking good!
    I write English not so well, but this thin string for sewing or fabric-making my funny wheel getickles. Baron von Schtupp

  8. #8
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    From right to left, asparagus, garlic, onions, tomatoes and potatoes at bottom




    blackberries




    strawberries with a wall of raspberries and other crap that shouldn't be there.
    I write English not so well, but this thin string for sewing or fabric-making my funny wheel getickles. Baron von Schtupp

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    Senior Member Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    I haven't tried a garden in many years. You need the right girlfriend to help since you'll be off hunting or fishing most of the time, and the capacity for both of you to eat a lot of 'maters quickly for long stretches of time doesn't hurt either, LOL.

    What's a good berry that grows thick and tall and doesn't need a lot of sun?

  10. #10
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Fox View Post
    What's a good berry that grows thick and tall and doesn't need a lot of sun?
    Blackberries are good if you don't mind them eventually taking over your land and you losing a quart of blood every time you pick them.
    Now don't go ninja-in' nobody that don't need ninja-in'.

    ~ Diemon Dave

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