SQWIBS Urban Garden Adventure

Discussion in 'Small Spaces' started by sqwib, May 28, 2015.

  1. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    Wow!  I really wouldn't know how to garden up there.  Snow in April....
     
  2. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I was talking about the video at supper, laughing and feeling sorry for SQWIBS at the same time. Pop (he's 91) says, yep farmin is a bitch everywhere..... And reminded me of all the times we lost all the corn to rain.

    He believes that when ya farm, his Dad was a farmer, that when you plant, 1/3 doesn't make, 1/3 goes to the birds bugs and blight, and you get 1/3 to take home on a good year. Anything more than that you owe to the preacher.
     
  3. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    I've heard a saying something to that exact same thing.  Something like, "One for me, One for thee..."  they mentioned a third which was something like "One for the raven in the tree".  But I was always told to plant 3X as much as you want.
     
  4. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    So true guys, Foam...pops is a wise man.

    I will let the birds and squirrels grab a few but one year I had a groundhog that left me with nothing. And I don't mind if a critter grabs something and eats it but what peeves me is the peck holes in 10 or so tomatoes, I have learned to live with it, maters with a peck or two become sundried tomatoes or turtle food.[​IMG]

    Funny story, there's this one squirrel that runs along my fence and will grab a mater, place it on the fence and eat some, he leaves it there and comes back every day to eat the same mater, so I leave him be, don't mind sharing with a critter that isn't destroying everything.

    I don't want to cover the plants because the birds help remove pests too...it's all a balancing act.
     
  5. Hey SQWIB,  Birds peck our tomatoes too. Here is what we observed, When they turn bright red is when the bird peck them, Pull them a couple of days early let ripen in the window or table. Trick is get them before the birds do.

    Gary
     
  6. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    Gary is right.  As soon as they start to blush they will ripen up fine on the kitchen counter.

    Last year was the first year that I did not have birds pecking my tomatoes.  One year is a small sample size, but the thought was that birds are not looking for food, but for water, as they never return to finish "eating" the same fruit, nor does any other bird visit that tomato.  I left a few bowls outside filled with water and I didn't have one ruined tomato (by birds).  I will know better after this year but it's worth a try in the meanwhile.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  7. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah I read that too and don't believe it, I have a pond 20' away and 60' away.


    They only get the maters on top and leave the ones below alone. Ill pick the top ones sooner.
     
  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Gonna try this on the top maters, if they start pecking my eggplant fruit, I'll be grabbing the shotgun.

    Do you ever ripen in paper bags, What about adding a banana for ethylene gas.

    One petpeeve I have is when my Mom puts maters in plastic grocery store bags and there's one mater in there that gets nasty and ruins the whole batch. I have been telling her for twenty years, "KEEP THE DAM FRUIT AND VEGGIES OUT OF PLASTIC BAGS".

    She's gonna have a coronary next time she hands me a bag of maters and watches as I walk over to the trashcan and drop the bag into the trash.
     
  9. I have heard of doing that, but never tried it. We get a lot of sunshine on the kitchen table so my wife just sits them there.

    Another thing we do (Helps a little)  We put a double hanging plant holder in the garden take a couple of aluminum pie pans

    and a fer old CD's and hang from the holder wind moves them around a lot and make noise. Works till the birds figure out

    it doesn't bother them.

    Gary
     
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    FYI:   That time I got over 3,000 Cherry Maters on one plant, when I pulled it because of frost, I had over 900 green cherry maters.

    I put them all in our basement, on a table, on top of newspaper. Then more newspaper on top.

    Almost all of them ripened nicely.

    Bear
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  11. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just a thought, not implying anything thing here either, but....... You do know that rats do damage also. AND they only take one bite per fruit, usually on the top of the fruit. I don't know 'bout maters but they do like fruit.
     
  12. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Definite groundhog, he has moved, havent seen him in several years.
     
  13. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I gotta say, I feel like I'm burning out... I took on a lot this year and getting to the point where its becoming more of a chore than fun! I knew what I was getting into and I did pace myself so I wouldn't burn out and I AM SURE it will all be worth it... no regrets, but certain things are eating up my time and killing me like tree roots lol, and unexpected things like both ponds leaking...have you ever tried to find a leak in a pond? Goodluck! Anyhow the ponds are fixed but I lost a few good days dealing with the ponds.

    I must have removed a ton or two of concrete, rocks and (CLAY) dirt and my back is killing me from carrying everything, placing in the truck and disposing of it.

    I just keep telling myself to do it now so its easier later when you're older and unable to do this $hit!

    Seems a bit A$$Backwards digging out dirt and stone and tossing then going out and buying dirt and stone and carry it back into the yard.

    [​IMG]

    This is a root, not a stump, this cost me an entire evening!

    April 12th -  I spent several hours trying to get this root out, I even tried irrigating the soil away to get under it and only made a mess. This thing is just SICK!

    [​IMG]

    I still have to get the irrigation finished (halfway now), tweak one of the beds, get the veggies and herbs planted, setup the hydroponics system, plant the hydro plants, I'm going to have to cut some pavers to level the hydroponic system , more on that later, redo the trellis for the hydro plants, finish the Air pruning system, mulch everything, trim the shrubs, remove the neighbors shrubs (4 hour project), treat the weeds, fix the landscape lighting, put away the firewood, clean out the firepit and add pavers, remove two more trees and roots and another ton or two of dirt and 25-30 buckets of river rock that I need to deliver to my brothers, stain the raised beds, fix the front yard hose bib.

    I am going to remove the trees and stain the raised beds in the fall.

    This is about half of what I used so far, I just want to get everything looking good so the neighbors don't have to look at this crap.


    Weekends are getting harder to come by especially with upcoming events.

    I'm not complaining just a bit overwhelmed. After all is said and done, I am still ahead of the game because I usually don't even plant until mothers day weekend which is May 8th, my goal is to have everything done the weekend before and maybe I can do a bit of smoking and have a few glasses of Shine!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
  14. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I am in a better place this week, I got a lot done. The weather has complied and looks like I may be in the clear.

    I did have a few disappointments, I lost half of My Brandywine Red Mater plants and a few Matts WC, The Brandywine Reds are pretty sensitive, the mortgage lifters struggled but are coming back.

    Most of the stuff I still have to do is not a priority, just some grunt work, cleanup and tweaking, now I can enjoy my gardening.

    Heres what I worked on this weekend...

    ... NFT

    April 16th, 2016 - The roots are looking good, I added a small dose of Nutrients (20 gallons) to see how the fish do. This weekend I'll switch the system over to Strict NFT.
     

    [​IMG]
     
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    [​IMG]

    24 hours later and the fish are doing fine, I will add another 20 gallon mix of nutrient solution this week.
     

    [​IMG]
     
  15. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My hydroponic system is up and running, I 'll toss a video together that explains the system better but heres a quick pic...

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Looking good buddy love those pics

    Gary
     
  17. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ran the irrigation to the Grow Bags, this is the system I was going to use a self watering, wicking setup but decide to simply irrigate with a drip line. I'll get more pics on how these bags work and repost.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    And this is a project that I am real happy with the way it turned out, this is a long post...sorry!

    Raised Bed #4
     

    Hugelkultur Bed

    April 2nd, 2016
    OK... Time to start this nightmare, I hate this part of the yard, it has never looked good and the Bradford Pear tree tore it up pretty good. Working around the stump and roots is gonna be a nightmare especially factoring in the close proximity to the fence. Last year I tossed in this pallet fence to keep the dogs out and try to grow some beans...FAIL!

    This bed will be a Hugekultur bed, I have researched this form of gardening and was quite impressed, so I figured I would give it a shot. I have plenty of wood from the Bradford Pear tree to fill it with, (Crotch wood, roots, stuff I can't easily split for firewood). Ray next door wants his shrubs out, so my goal is to get this built, add my logs, cut Rays shrubs back a bit, trim the evergreens and toss everything in the bed. The build will be similar to Raised bed #2 and #3, but three (10") boards high.

    The yard slopes a good bit here so the bed will be approximately 30" at the low end and 18" at the high end.

    [​IMG]

    • First I removed the pallet fence and 4x4.
    [​IMG]

     

    • Oh boy!

    [​IMG]

    • Dug out a bit.
    [​IMG]

    • Then marveled at the roots and tried to come up with a game plan. I decided to "irrigate" the soil away with the hose then chipped away to see what I was up against. OH BOY!
    [​IMG]


     

    • Look at this thing
    [​IMG]

    • These are the two roots that almost sent me to the emergency due to a cardio event.
    [​IMG]

    This project is proven to be a total nightmare. Working around the stump is impossible the roots are embedded with rocks so after frying my chainsaw blade on root embedded rocks, I switched to a Sawzall  then an axe, it was impossible to get a swing on the axe. The roots were so abundant that I had to irrigate the soil away with a hose but after I got down so far I hit Green/Gray clay.

    The clay was so hard that I had to chip it away with a hammer and screwdriver. I finally got through one root that was over 12" thick...REALLY, A DAM FOOT!!!. I am pretty persistent but finally gave up on my original plan to dig behind the stump for the 2x10's and went another route.


    Anyhow, after building one frame I decided to put this section in place, level and secure, the next piece was a three sided section that slid in underneath, everything was leveled (somewhat) and secured. What a dam mess!
    Of course my wife lets out the, "two stupid dogs" and they decide to run through the mud and jump on me to show me how much they love me!

     

    [​IMG]

    • After everything was secured, I added some of my crotch wood, roots from the Bradford Pear tree from the back yard and some old firewood. The section in the center where the buckets are will be tore up and pavers will be put in and in case you are wondering, the piece in the center are huge roofing sheets about 1/4" thick.
    [​IMG]
     
    [​IMG]

     

    • After some of the trimmed bush was added to the Hugekultur Raised Bed, the third section was built and secured.

    [​IMG]
    • I can't finish the uprights yet because the pavers need to be installed first, then I can cut the uprights.
    [​IMG]

     

    • Another layer of Crotch wood and logs are added. I told a friend that I am planting firewood so I  can have a firewood crop in the fall.
    [​IMG]

     

    • The soil that was removed during construction was dumped into the bed. It's a fairly heavy clay soil but I have had no problems growing anything in this soil, quite the contrary. It will be top dressed with perlite and composted manure.

    [​IMG]


     I had said in the past, "The hardest part about building these beds has been removing the River Rock and the cleanup", BOY WAS I WRONG! The Bradford Pear stump and roots are kicking my ass.

    After dealing with this stump and the roots, I decided to remove the two Bradford Pear Trees on the back hill... I'm getting too old for this $hit!


    April 12th -  I spent several hours trying to get this root out, I even tried irrigating the soil away to get under it and only made a mess. This thing is just SICK!


    [​IMG]



    April 13th - I finally gave up and removed as much as possible with a 12" sawzall blade. I wanted to remove the whole root and back-fill because the pavers will sink when the root rots, I figured it would be less effort to lift the pavers, back-fill with paver stone and replace the pavers in 5 years or so.

    [​IMG]
     

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    Looking good so far, In a few years I'll most likely lift the pavers and peak the center up a bit so its rounded and not concave, but for now I'll leave it!
     

    [​IMG]

    April 14th - Final touches, adding the side pieces and irrigation.

     
    • There was a 1-1/2" gap on one side of the cap stones (steps), so I centered the cap stones (steps) and cut two pieces of 5/4 P.T. and placed the cut 5/4 in the gaps.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

     

    • Finished the pavers and uprights
    [​IMG]


     
    • Ran some drip irrigation to the bed.
    [​IMG]
     

    • This year the bed will be used as an overflow (extra veggie plants)

    [​IMG]

    • Even looks good from the deck, and the wife unit was happy.
    [​IMG]

    • Much nicer

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
    daveomak likes this.
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks very good...   definitely adds value and character.....  Now for sure I know you are waaaaay younger than me...  I couldn't make it through that project...    [​IMG]  ....
     
  20. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well Dave... If the saying is true that, "you are only as old as you feel",... then I am $hit out of luck!
     

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