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Old 05-12-10, 11:56 AM   #1
ksstathead
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Default New veggie garden and new compost pile

3 decades after any significant gardening, I have just started a "square foot garden" following Mel Bartholomew's All New Square Foot Gardening book.

I also made a simple compost pile with a 10-ft circumference (roughly 3 ft diameter) of chicken wire (4 ft high, 1 inch openings. The wire is closed with 10 zip ties. This will hold a chunk of our leaves and all of our bagged grass clippings, along with fruit and veggie peels, egg shells, tea bags, twigs, weeds, and a little sawdust.

My hope is to have abundant compost for the garden and some extra to replace commercial fertilizer for the grass.

As a tax accountant, it is hard to get a proper early start on a new garden. After tax season and some sleep, I built 2 4'x4' squares from 2x6 cedar, filled with homemade "Mel's mix" (vermiculite, peat moss, and mixed compost), added 1' grid on top with wood lathe, erected a nylon tomato trellis net for each square using an EMT frame set over 3/8" metal rods. One of the squares is wrapped in chicken wire 2' high for bunny protection. That square also has a pvc frame over it for shade cloth and later, plastic coverings.

Planted on May 2, things are now spouting all over! Plantings are: potatoes and onions that had sprouted in our pantry, 2 tomato transplants courtesy of my Mom's extra seedings, green onions, carrots, green beans, cucumbers, leaf lettuce, arugula, cilantro, basil, dill, yellow squash, and zucchini. Also working on sprouting rosemary seeds for later transplanting.

I have a few square feet free for other crops to be determined. Will try some peas in the fall. Too hot here in the summer as I understand it.

Last year, I tied in drip irrigation to the lawn sprinkler system for the shrubs, so these beds will be "dripped" this weekend when I get my drip system out of winter storage.

I expect to double and triple crop these 32 square feet for a substantial share of our veggies. There are my wife & I, and our son when college is out.

I need to build some chicken wire covers to protect the cool season lettuce and arugula when it gets really hot, without shading the summer crops. Plan is to staple the wire to 1x2 cedar squares sized to cover one or more crops.

Next spring I hope to have a cold frame to get a much earlier start, but this is an exciting project already. We expect more leaves in the fall than we can accommodate, but otherwise or trash is next to nothing.

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Old 06-07-10, 09:47 AM   #2
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First harvest yesterday: leaf lettuce and arugula. Yum.
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Old 06-07-10, 10:08 AM   #3
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Got any pics of the garden?
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Old 06-09-10, 03:34 PM   #4
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Pic of one of 2 squares is attached. Back row: tomato, tomato, cucumber, empty. Next row: Arugula, Leaf Lettuce, Spinach, Potatoes. 3rd row: Onions, Carrots, Potatoes, Dill. Front row: Green beans, cilantro, basil, empty.

Note the Bunny wrap of chicken wire, the trellis netting, the pvc frame for covering, (drip irrigation not apparent).

The other square is also 4x4, has no lattice grid, and currently has yellow squash, zucchini, and broccoli.

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