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Mark why do you fill my head with such crazyness! (gardening forum)

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  • Mark why do you fill my head with such crazyness! (gardening forum)

    So with all of this crazy talk about home gardening, I decided that my life would not be complete unless I built a home garden of my own. Besides the obvious.. we love fresh veggies, herbs, and fruits.. Now we don't even need to waste time wondering if the veggies that we're eatin are truly organic or just have a sticker that says so. There's nothing more local than in my own back yard! BTW.. Mark, I hope you donít have any ideas about raising your own cattle.. My backyard isn't nearly big enough..

    I'm not the type to go out and by a "ready-made" garden kit. For whatever crazy reason, I can't get complete satisfaction out of a project unless I put some sweat and occasionally a little blood into the work. I just finished the box last night and it looks nice.. hopefully its functional qualities will meet up with with its aesthetic ones. The picket fence will hopefully deter our very curious cat from using our garden as a giant toilet.. We'll see how that pans out.

    We live in AZ so it's going to be interesting to see how our crop does. This box is 4X6í with an internal soak and surface drip system to keep the soil moist most of the time.. We've got a mix of about 4 different types of soil, pete moss, compost, manure, etc (all organic from the local nursery). If there are any Arizonans who have had successful gardens, any tips or advice on desert gardening would be greatly appreciated . Right now we're soaking the soil for about 30 min per day in the evening. We'll be heading back to the nursery this weekend for the goods. So far we have plans for about 3 different varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, hot peppers, herbs-a-plenty, butternut squash, strawberries, and spinach.

    P.s. This is a forum to discuss gardening. If you have a garden that you've made, or are planning to make, please share pictures, tips, techniques, success and failure stories. I'm somewhat new at this stuff but totally stoked to jump in head first!

    Last edited by beef Stu; 04-26-2011, 01:22 PM.

  • #2
    I've been avoiding the gardening posts because I'm itching to get into the dirt and can't yet so it frustrates me. I'll be lucky to get an herb garden in this year. You should look into permaculture as it works with the environment, as opposed to against it like most western gardening does. I'm just now learning about it so can't offer too much advice other than the book Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway, which is one of the better books on the subject.

    I plan on landscaping as much as possible with herbs and fruit bushes. I don't do lawns. I'd really like to have a fenced in garden that doubles as a chicken coop at some point if I could convince the dog not to terrorize them.
    Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.


    • #3
      I just planted mine last weekend. Here's the photo with each of the items tagged.

      This is the third year I've planted on my balcony. I always start from plants, not seed, partly because I'm lazy, and partly because the cat would probably destroy the baby shoots while they were growing inside. I've had the best luck with herbs, moderate luck with tomatoes (I think they want more heat than my morning-sun-only balcony can provide) and lettuce. My bell pepper experiment in a previous year was a one-pepper failure, but the woman at the garden store assured me that jalapenos and habaneros do better in this climate, so I'm trying those this year.
      Last edited by ennasirk; 04-26-2011, 11:58 AM.
      "Sometimes, you need to make sure the angel on your shoulder has a wingman." -Me

      My primal log


      • #4
        Originally posted by Blackcatbone View Post
        I'd really like to have a fenced in garden that doubles as a chicken coop at some point if I could convince the dog not to terrorize them.
        I don't know what kind of dog you have, but it is possible to have chickens and dogs We have a golden retriever (a bird dog, no less!), and we slowly introduced the chickens, which we raised from day-old chicks, to him. He slobbered like crazy at first, but he learned that they were part of the family, and by the time they were old enough to go out into the coop full-time he was fine. We have almost a whole acre, fully fenced, and the chickens (and now ducks) and dogs spend all day out there together. Our golden doesn't like the chickens to get too close, but he can also be protective of them, and I swear when we brought a second dog home (a 2 year-old sheepdog), he taught him not to bother them either. He will leave occasional "presents" of birds, squirrels and groundhogs on the porch, but never a chicken.

        Our last frost date is Memorial Day, so I am spending weekends getting ready to plant! I'm also picking up two new beehives on May 14th! We currently have one 4x8 foot raised bed, and lumber for a second. I hope to add at least one or two more this summer.
        My Primal Journal with lots of food pr0n


        • #5
          Originally posted by lucyh View Post
          I don't know what kind of dog you have, but it is possible to have chickens and dogs We have a golden retriever (a bird dog, no less!),
          A blue heeler with a bit of border collie. She tries to kill everything, loves to hunt and can't be trusted with anything she could take down, unfortunately. She's great at keeping moles, squirrels, stray cats and small children out of the garden. And she's intense when she wants something. I had to drag her out of the creek, covered in mud, after 1/2 hour digging furiously to get something.
          Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.


          • #6
            Cute garden but I bet those spikes won't be much fun when you are working on the plants. They won't stop the cat, it'll just hop on in. Chicken wire laid flat over the bed, that might work. Check out Square Foot Gardening for some ideas on protective covers.


            • #7
              First time posting photos, so not sure that link is going to work. It's several photos of the raised beds, the chicken coop, and the chickens. First year micro-farming

              Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
              Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food


              • #8
                We did a 6'x6' garden last year (and will triple its size this year) and planted tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squashes (yellow and zucchini) and watermelons in the garden. Our cucumbers, tomatoes and squashes were all very successful, but I overcrowded the garden so much that I could not get to half my crops (tomatoes in particular - literally had to climb into the thicket to harvest the middle sections) and so we extended the garden by about two feet to allow the watermelons to grow over the side of the garden. We got 3 watermelons (from one plant).

                In a 4x6 garden, unless you are planning on doing one type of each plant, I think you may have too much stuff in there. The squash plants are HUGE and take up a lot of room, as do the cucumbers and tomatoes. Strawberries will likely not yield a crop the first year and if they are in a sunny place, they may well take over the entire veggie garden, so it may be worthwhile to find a place you want some nice ground cover (that's in full sun or they will not thrive - I learned this the hard way) and drop some strawberry roots in. Next year they will thrive there.

                That's all I've got. What we used as a deterrent for neighborhood mammals is a scarecrow sprinkler system. It works like a charm and kept all unwanted mammals away (chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, deer etc) without the use of a fence. I don't think the picket fence will work to be honest (with the cat or other small mammals).

       Contech Electronics CRO101 Scarecrow Motion-Activated Sprinkler: Patio, Lawn & Garden


                • #9
                  Not big enough... especially if you buy plants like I do, LOL. It's addictive.
                  --Trish (Bork)
                  TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                  FOOD PORN BLOG!


                  • #10
                    super addictive i got a buttload of seeds, a metric ton have sprouted
                    yeah you are

                    Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.


                    • #11
                      So we picked up the following: 3 types of tomatoes, 2 cucumber vines, 2 butternut squash, 4 lettuce, sweet basil, greek oregano, ceyanne and jalapeno peppers (no AZ garden would be complete without some heat!) 2 strawberries. We planted everything on Sunday. The watering system is in place and everything's ready to go. I've set up soaker hoses about 2 in under the soil and have surface 360 degree drip/sprinkle system that gets the bottoms of the plants. Everything's adjustable so I can regulate the amount of water coming out on top of and underneath the surface. One big question that we have is.. for this size of bed (4x6), how much/often should we water???? I've got an automatic timer that I can set to go off whenever so I just need to know at what time of day, how many days on/off, and for how long in each watering period? Right now we're just winging everyting and I'd like to get a set schedule. Any help would be awesome!!


                      • #12
                        Living in Seattle, I feel entirely unqualified to answer Arizona watering questions

                        Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
                        Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food


                        • #13
                          You will want to water in the morning before it gets too hot. Just a s the sun is coming up. This will discourage mold as well as getting the most out of the watering not being evaporated. You should also use a mulch over the soil to keep the soil cool and moist. Evaporation is going to be your biggest enemy in AZ.
                          Don't be a paleotard...






                          • #14
                            Ok Sweet! I've got a bout a 2 inch mulch covering already. I guess we just need to know if it's OK to water every day or is every other day more adequate, etc? Also for about how long should I set the water timer for? We've been doing about 30 minute waterings to moisten the soil each day up until we planted the goods on Sunday. The soil seemed pretty damp when we planted everything so I've held off a little to let it even itself out. I've heard that it's good to let the plants look for water without starving them.. so in other words.. just give them enough to survive before they start to wilt. When they start to look a bit needy give them another shower.. whatta y'all think bout that?


                            • #15
                              Garden Update

                              Here's the latest update. People don't be shy! Post pics of your gardens if you have em I'm still looking for other ideas and advice for future projects.