The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2010

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OKay
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2010

Postby OKay » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:03 pm

My garden is starting to look shaggy but is still producing tomatoes and peppers. I pick almost every evening and usually bring 20-100 vegetables in to the hosue every night. The peppers are out producing everything else now. They seem to love the hot heat.

Yesterday I offered $1.00 for each tomato worm found, removed and killed. DGS15 and DGS13 thought this was a splendid offer and went worm hunting. They earned $8.00 and everyone was pleased with the results. I can NOT make myself touch those horn worms. [i]:::::shudder:::::[/i]

Aphids have invaded the garden and attacked the squash (3 kinds), watermelon and cantaloupe beds. I torn out all of the plants the aphids were on last night and threw them over the pasture fence. I checked the 3 remaining butternut squash plants tonight and didn't see any aphids on them. HOpefully that is the end of the aphid invasion (wishful thinking!). I have 13 large butternut squash on my countertop and I'm wondering if they will finish ripening off the vine.

I do a mixture of Ruth Stout The Lazy Garderner method and Square Foot Gardening method. I LOVE raised beds and don't think I will ever garden without them now. I also love gardening with heavy mulch (wheat straw). I don't use any chemicals in the garden. I don't use a rototiller because they kill the critters (toads, turtles, etc) burdened in the soil. I enjoy tracking the turtles (I squirt spray paint on their shell to tell them apart) and see which ones return each year. They used to drive me crazy being in the garden but have grown to appreciate them eating bugs.

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Harriet
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2010

Postby Harriet » Sun Aug 08, 2010 11:50 pm

I thought this was a nice site a man in Indiana did about his square foot gardening this year. He even made a video a month ago. A difference I notice that I would never have done is that he has a few beds as large as 8 x8 - I wouldn't try that unless you had stepping stones that were really large to get in there. I'm interested in his short "fencing" around the beds and am thinking he must deal with rabbits. Anyway, a pleasant glimpse at someone enjoying square foot gardening.

A square-foot garden in pics and video

My beds that I was proudest of had peppers, the bush cukes, bush tomatoes, bush beans. At corners I would plant french marigolds and globe-shaped basil and they helped to "contain" everything and give some color. I never went larger than 4 feet per side, 16 square feet. My enemy was perennial grass called "wire grass" or "witch grass" that plowed through any mulch and under any barrier, and eventually it got so hard to fight that I gave up the garden.

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Lisa B.
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2010

Postby Lisa B. » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:25 am

Your garden sounds good Okay. How do you like the SFG method?

Thank you for the link Harriet. I've read some of his posts. Very interesting.

I've also found a web site blog from here in SA a few months ago, when I first stumbled on SFG, except here they call it Square Meter Gardening (SMG) as measurements are metric not imperial. I then bought Mel's book, had a look at his site and got hold of 2 wooden pallets so far to make the boxes with. Figured I will need a couple more to make another box, especially if I do what I plan to do.

Note to self......Get a move on taking the pallets apart to make the boxes for garden.

Since I live in a sub-tropical country (tropic of Capricorn runs not far north of me), I could probably do peppers quite well and have put on my list of seeds to get.

Bought seeds - onions, carrots, basil so far. Will get peppers (red, green & yellow varieties), cucumbers (see how they do), mixed salad lettuce.

Thinking about getting cherry tomatoes, since they will be for me and DD12's salads. Will leave the toms out of DH's salads in the coming summer.
“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” ~ Amelia Earhart
“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand

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OKay
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2010

Postby OKay » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:23 pm

I like the planting method of SFG (squares instead of planting in long rows). I like being able to plant a variety of plants in a small area. It is easier for me to track what, where, when seeds are planted & harvested because all the beds/rows are numbered in my garden.

When designing my raised beds, I tested how far I could easily reach from each side (while sitting on the bricks that edge the beds) and the 4' seemed to be about right for me. The length of the beds vary. The raised bed surrounding the garden area is a U shape with the long sides of the raised bed being 16'x4' and the short side being 8'x4'. All raised beds are made from decorative stones. The walkways between the beds are heavily mulched. Since getting them designed and in place, I probably haven't pulled 2 dozen weeds all year long. It is basically maintenance free as far as weeds/grass go.

I use metal fence t-post to divide the beds into sections. The t-post laying on their side fit securely in between the decorative rocks and make it easy to keep the garden sections divided up.

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Lisa B.
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2010

Postby Lisa B. » Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:13 am

Okay, thank you for your reply. Looks like this method is a very good one. Am going to give it a try.
“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” ~ Amelia Earhart
“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand

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Lynlee
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2010

Postby Lynlee » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:09 am

today...I`did`some`more`weeding.`I'm`trying`the`gar`bag`composting`method.
The`hope`is`that`weed`seeds`are`negated`if`temps`get`high`enough.
I'm`not`sure`there`is`enough`sun`(lots`of`trees).`I`guess`we'll`find`out.

I'm`clearing`the`tall`forest`of`weeds`"way`down`the`back.(I'm`bagging`these)
Also`cleared`some`of`the`fishtail`fern`from`beside`the`house.
This`has`been`an`almost`2`decade`job...Need`the`garden`my`parents`planted`there`
cleared`away`so`the`wall`can`be`looked`at.`The`fern`are`going`in`the`bin.
There`are`some`agapanthis`that`need`moving.`Its`not`a`good`spot`for`them`
on`the`south`side`of`the`house.Longest`day`it`gets`a`little`sun.

I`m`having`trouble`with`the`mower`again/still.Wondering`if`my`fuel`is`too`old.
It`just`worked`for`one`"mow"`since`I`took`it`for`repair.
Just begin.
Living this day, today
Take a reality check; Remember to breathe; Do what I am able to do.
Look for the good in all.

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Harriet
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2010

Postby Harriet » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:44 pm

Lynlee, the first three items on a trouble-shooting checklist for a small lawn mower goes
1) points
2) sparkplugs
3) gas
so if it's just been to the shop, you'd think it was narrowed down to gas as the next idea. Yes, old gas could definitely cause a problem. Can you dispose of it all some safe way yourself and fill with new? Also, call the shop and tell them - they might immediately have a guess since they just had it in.

OKay, it was Ruth Stout who said, "A change of occupation is rest." and I have quoted her on that so often. Also she said, "Women are the adaptable, the interruptible sex." She wrote so well.

Unfortunately, the wire grass here grew right through any mulch Stout suggested. Thrived under there. Once my farming cousin asked me if I had INTENDED to plant grass in my garden. Sigh.

Garden planning - honestly, I used to calm my thoughts to fall asleep at night by mentally planning my garden at bloom-level :) . Happy, happy thoughts. The square foot beds were great for that. It's nice to think some of you guys are enjoying them.

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Lynlee
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2010

Postby Lynlee » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:14 pm

Harriet`-`I`heard`this`from`one`of`our`Aussie`gardening`guys.
1.Cover`the`garden`with`mulch.
2.As`weeds/grass`starts`to`poke`its`way`through`the`mulch
slide`a`garden`fork`under`the`mulch,`lift`and`drop`it`back`over`the`shoots
effectively`burying`it`again.
3.Repeat`as`needed`when`shoots`reappear..
Just begin.
Living this day, today
Take a reality check; Remember to breathe; Do what I am able to do.
Look for the good in all.

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Nancy
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2010

Postby Nancy » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:07 pm

I'm tickled found a zucchini growing in my garden spot!
Yea! That little spot has 3 kinds of tomatoes,
pumpkins and 2 kinds of squash now that's what I call a success!
Having plums from the tree now also.


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