| FOOD From two 5 gallon buckets with tomatoes to a full blown garden. Who among us?

TerryP

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I thought I'd start a thread instead of sending Wayne a text that would be this long.

@Bamabww so, I got this idea about going to raised bed gardens this year. A lot of it has to do with the water level during storms ... stuff I've mentioned before.

Over the last few months I've been putting together my *plan. It's built on pavers, modified shipping pallets as the base, with plywood walls. Plywood for the first, no doubt...but that might change for the second, third, and on down the line.

Short story.

I replaced a storm door going out to the patio a few years ago and snatched the glass. Two panes, right?

While working the pallets (building bird houses for gods sake) I also built a box to fit one of the panes...using it as a cover. Square, at least 1.5 square feet, six and the width of your normal pallet slate.

Planted Kale and Lettuce(s) on a Monday. By Saturday I have growth. Five day sprouts. I'll be plucking and moving soon.

So, how many around these parts have their own garden/backyard projects going?

I had a member mention he'd just purchased his first house. I laughed. There's always something to do...but this is a want to do in my parts.

@planomateo It's going to be sold cold, and so out of the way, you won't know what a good tomato taste like. You'll be calling the salad bar at Denny's premium.
 

TerryP

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Walipini!
That's bad ass, Matt. But geez, the amount of digging and conforming for a frame!!! :oops:

I'm about 75% through the foundation of something similar. It's a base with two 4x8' pallets (spaces filled in to support soil) that's raised off the ground with two 4X8X16 pavers as its base. So, we're looking at a little over a foot before we start the bottom of the bed. I'm going another 18-24" on the sides, maybe more, and then adding the rest of the frame.

It'll be ready by spring but won't add the covering until next fall. The goal, and it's going to be pretty easy to do, is this with a much better irrigation system built in.

10850
 

sk33tr

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while i don't have a garden, i do have a compost pile going.

after my dad died, i tore down the greenhouse he'd built. neither me nor my mom had any aspirations of keeping it since neither of us were into flowers as much as he was. that was his hobby; and he liked to "play in the dirt" as my mom called it, lol. he grew dahlias at one point and used to put them in shows; actually won a few ribbons/awards for them, too. he'd used clear corrugated panels for the top and sides. and i gave those to my sister so 'cause she wanted them to make a small greenhouse at her house.

my dad had the first compost pile going. i wanted to keep it, but i didn't like where it was so i moved it. now, it's about 3 times the size of the one he had. he'd been putting some decomposing sawdust (from an old sawmill), other dirt he'd used form other pots/plants, and some leaves and grass clippings in there. after i got it moved, i started adding to it. now, it's almost 4 feet deep and about 3 feet square. about every third grass cutting i put in the grass clippings and chopped up leaves. i also put in used coffee grounds, used tea bags, egg shells, apple peelings, banana peels, and orange peels. i have a little container in my kitchen that i put all that stuff in. when it gets full, i put it in a blender, chop it up real good (with some water added), then pour it on the compost pile and turn it over real good. i gotta tell ya, that stuff is as black as night. and when i do my potted plants/flowers (about as close as i get to having a green thumb, lol), i put in about 2/3 good dirt and 1/3 of that compost. it makes whatever's planted in there grow like crazy. i also turn it over in the dirt i use if i plant something in the ground.
 

alabama mike

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I have a garden that is about 75 feet long and 25 feet wide. I have enjoyed putting one out for years and usually end up with a lot for canning. In Ohio, we have to wait until after May 10th to put plants out because of frost unless you want to roll the dice and pray for no cold spells. The idea of a raise bed intrigues me but I know with the Bama heat, watering is an issue to deal with. It appears the picture two posts above is the way to go. Nice!
 

planomateo

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I have decided yet how I'll solve for a greenhouse yet, either going to be a walipini or an above greenhouse that can handle the snow load.

Walipini gives me the ability to grow longer, but to your point @TerryP, it's significantly more work.
 

TerryP

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@sk33tr I'm about...90% through finishing the first bed with a little more fabric cloth left I need to get stapled in before moving on. It's a little less than a foot deep, I'm guessing here because I don't feel like doing the math...looking at about 12 cu ft.

I'm not saying this is a bad idea. I'd call it decent.

In most of your raised bed they recommend a good compost/soil mixture. Lowe's has a few that ranged from 2-3 cu ft and are priced 10-12 bucks a piece. It's not good. It's not bad. Decent, right?

On that note, I have a compost bin that's about as large as your normal city issued trash cans...probably a little bigger. It's built with four, vertical sliding doors on each side so it's easy to pull from the bottom.

It's the plan to use that mixture as a base for the bed I'm finishing up. A good mix—that dark, rich color I like to see in coffee—that's not only a less expensive route but is a GREAT combination for growing.
 

TerryP

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I have a garden that is about 75 feet long and 25 feet wide. I have enjoyed putting one out for years and usually end up with a lot for canning. In Ohio, we have to wait until after May 10th to put plants out because of frost unless you want to roll the dice and pray for no cold spells. The idea of a raise bed intrigues me but I know with the Bama heat, watering is an issue to deal with. It appears the picture two posts above is the way to go. Nice!
The bed I tore up recently was bordered with 16" pavers (keeps moles out.) It was 35 pavers long, 12 wide. You can do the math since you're the "educator" in this thread: so far.

On frost...I'd have to pull out my "almanac" to verify this...when I looked at it a few days ago I recall the last frost here was in the second week of March. Now, I had beans planted a month before that that were 6-8" high before that cold snap. In the same sense you'd see a quonset hut I had arches built over the rows...real easy to cover with a sheet of plastic. I made it through a heavy frost, and that late light one, with no damage to the crops at all.

Now, with this bed I'm building now I'll use the same principle except it'll be the plastic sheeting over the top...just covering the boxes. A LOT easier.

I mentioned the Kale and Lettuce starting this...while I'm going to buy some tomato plants I've got a half of a dozen that are sprouting in the same structure I made for the other.

I don't know how long your growing season is...I got three crops of beans last year.
 

TerryP

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I have decided yet how I'll solve for a greenhouse yet, either going to be a walipini or an above greenhouse that can handle the snow load.

Walipini gives me the ability to grow longer, but to your point @TerryP, it's significantly more work.
All of this reminded me of this story.


 

Bamabww

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Looking good Terry. Since we retired, our garden has evolved to 3 items: tomatoes, squash, and okra. We tried the raised beds but have gotten better results from just planting in the red dirt.
All our other fresh veggies come from our local farmer’s market.
 

TerryP

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A friend of mine sent me these pics...crazy, it's about the same thing I did.

10890
 

TerryP

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Looking good Terry. Since we retired, our garden has evolved to 3 items: tomatoes, squash, and okra. We tried the raised beds but have gotten better results from just planting in the red dirt.
All our other fresh veggies come from our local farmer’s market.
The main reason I'm going with the raised beds is the flooding issue I deal with a few times a year. The idea of some of the crap that's running over the beds when it does flood really left no choice.

As this point, I'm going with the three you'e mentioned along with a couple of different varieties of green beans. I mentioned the lettuce and kale...got radish's in today as well. I know I'll add some peppers in a few weeks...corn is likely going to get another run this season.

Last year a lot of what I had got slammed with some type of fungus. It wasn't just limited to mine. Two friends of mine dealt with the same thing. Personally, it took seven or eight tomatoes out...biggest thing that ticked me off was it hitting a double knock-out I'd had going for several years.

A friend grabbed some pics of the whole "building process." I'll get a few of them posted in the next few days.
 

planomateo

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Make sure that raised bed material isn't treated with anything. It will leach into to the food.
 

sk33tr

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Make sure that raised bed material isn't treated with anything. It will leach into to the food.
was thinking about this earlier. at work (i work at a hardware store) i've had to tell customers who are wanting supplies for building a raised bed to not use pt wood. i tell them to use something like cedar, redwood, black locust, or douglas fir. all of those are good for exposure and will last quite a while without any sort of treatment.
 

TerryP

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Make sure that raised bed material isn't treated with anything. It will leach into to the food.
That's the primary reason for going to the raised beds: what would/did/can/could leech into the plants when I get the spring/early summer floods.

It's all untreated lumber, kiln dried. I've been grabbing what I've been using from very specific locations. The last one was from a local pharmacy who specializes in compounds. In other words, it's considered a "clean pallet" due to it being used for medicines. Same principle with those I've snatched from grocery stores--food pallets.

This pallet (24X80) was finished a few days ago. A friend took this shot when we were adding the soil mixture. It's going to have a lid/cover...haven't made it that far yet. The base of that one is made from untreated oak and the sides untreated pine. You're looking at about 5" of compost, 3" of shredded untreated cyprus, and organic soil that's about 7-8" deep.

10892
 

TerryP

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This one is about 80% done for this season, Less than that for its eventual finish.

The slates used as cross sections are being used for other 💩 (Been watching Carolina Wrens and built a few bird houses, another story.)

Same principle. 3" of compost, 3-4" of shredded untreated cypress, and this time 10" of soil. I'm thinking of playing with a Quonset approach ... 🤷‍♂️

The golf balls are Top Flight. I will officially say it's one of the most inconstant balls to drill through. I nailed everyone of those ... straight down the middle. The idea/intent is to make it easier to drag the plastic covering on and off in early spring. Hopefully, fewer snags and rips. 🤷‍♂️

{one of those thoughts as you're strolling through the back yard 🚬 ... )

I wondered if I could take lead fishing weights and attach those to the plastic. You know the weight...you can close the small ones between your fingertips. Sinkers. I'm thinking I've got 50 or more 1.5g in the shed.

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